Noah Gordon, author of ‘The Doctor’, dies at 95 | Culture

American writer Noah Gordon, author of the famous novel The doctor, has died this Monday at the age of 95, as reported by his family on his official website, which also has a Spanish version. “With great sadness, Noah Gordon’s family announces that he passed away on November 22, 2021 in the privacy of his home,” the statement explained. “Noah recently celebrated his 95th birthday with great joy and grateful for the long and fruitful life he has lived. He leaves a great void and his memory will live forever in his beloved family ”, adds the text. Although scorned as a bestseller by the mandarins of high literature, Gordon had millions of readers around the world and his work was especially successful in Spain. The Roca publishing house, which published all its titles translated into Spanish, has shown its “deep sadness” on Twitter, not without noting that the author leaves his readers “a wonderful legacy”.

In an interview with this newspaper three years ago, the author of novels that have become bestsellers acknowledged that his mind was beginning to play tricks on him. About to turn 92, Gordon, who published his latest novel, The wineryIn 2007, he assured EL PAÍS that he could no longer write because he used to forget words and, he said, sometimes he woke up in the middle of the night imagining new stories that later he was not able to put on paper. The winery It was a declaration of love for Spain, since its plot takes place in Catalonia at the end of the 19th century, in the period of the Carlist wars and against the backdrop of viticulture. It was not his only nod to Spain: his novel The last jew reconstructs historical events that took place in the 15th century on the Peninsula.

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Born in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1926, Gordon achieved international success through The doctor (1986), the first novel in a saga that completes with Shaman (1992) and Dr. Cole (1995) and whose success led to a film in 2013 — an adaptation that satisfied Gordon— and a homonymous musical premiered in Spain in 2018. “Noah’s life and work have marked the lives of millions of readers around the world . His work continues alive ”, affirms the family in the page of the writer. In fact, Gordon was more popular in the rest of the world than in his native country, and therefore the film The doctor, Although shot in English, it was German-produced and intended for European audiences.

Before becoming a best-selling author, Gordon got a job at Avon Publishing Company in New York. In the Big Apple he married Lorraine Seay and when their first child was born, he returned to Massachusetts, where he worked as a freelance journalist for a year until he became a reporter for a newspaper in his hometown, the Worcester Telegram. In 1959, he was hired by the Boston Herald and then he became editor of the magazine ScienceHence his familiarity with medicine. Before that, he had briefly been an ambulance driver. When he wrote The doctor, had already written and published two novels, both failures, but had also edited with great success Rabbi (1965). The adventures of the young English doctor Rob J. Cole in the 11th century exceeded his expectations, selling more than eight million copies worldwide and giving rise to a series of sequels about Cole’s descendants, set in different periods of history. and in which some elements are repeated such as Judaism – he himself was descended from poor Jews from a ghetto in Russia who came to the United States in the most adverse circumstances -, characters without family who seek their place in the world, and, above all, medicine.

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The writer, in 2014, explained in Barcelona: “In our society the doctor occupies a position similar to that held by the priest centuries ago. The doctor fights the most dramatic fight that can be conceived, that if before it was the salvation of the soul from the clutches of the devil and the flames of hell, in our secularized societies it is the fight of intelligence and human knowledge against death. It is obvious that this fight has great dramatic possibilities. And since I, due to my unfinished medical studies and my professional specialization, I knew a little about the field, I had at least a solid base to work on the subject, to do research in libraries, and I also knew professionals whom I could consult to resolve my doubts ”.

And about his career, he pointed out: “When I was a child, no one in my environment had a job, or of course vacations; we all stayed home all day long. I was bored a lot. So my sister took me to the public library, and that’s how I got into the world of books, I discovered Chaucer and Shakespeare and many, many other authors who have brought a lot of happiness and inspiration to my life ”.

Apart from many other international awards, Gordon received awards such as the Euskadi de Plata in 1992 and 1995; the Bocaccio award in 2001 or the 2006 City of Zaragoza award for his work as a whole.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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