Celebrated author Gore Vidal passes away at 86

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Author and playwright Gore Vidal, passed away at his home in the Hollywood Hills on Tuesday evening, CBC News reports. Vidal was sick for "quite a while," his nephew Burr Steers said, and complications from pneumonia caused his death.

Vidal's work includes the novels Lincoln, Myra Breckenridge and The City and the Pillar, which was one of the first novels to include openly gay characters. He also penned the Broadway play The Best Man, which was nominated for six Tonys, was adapted into a successful film and was recently revived on Broadway.

Vidal was known as much for his personality as for his work. He was a literary celebrity despite winning few writing awards. Born in West Point, New York, Vidal was largely self-educated. He wrote his first book, Williwaw, when he was just 20 and serving in the military. Vidal's third book, The City and the Pillar, published in 1948, put him on the literary map. From there, Vidal would go on to become one of America's most prolific and best-known writers, becoming involved in both Hollywood and American politics.

In 2011, Vidal sat down with Sunday Edition host Michael Enright at the Montreal Blue Metropolis Literary Festival. This interview originally aired on CBC on May 8, 2011. You can listen to their conversation in the audio player below.


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