If Obituaries of Male Authors Were Like The Australian’s Obituary of Colleen McCullough

by Lise Broer


The Australian‘s bizarre obituary of bestselling novelist Colleen McCullough has received international attention for its sexist second sentence:

“Plain of feature and certainly overweight, she was, nevertheless, a woman of wit and warmth.” 

McCullough’s The Thorn Birds sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making her the most successful author in Australian literature. 

So for your pleasure I have written a few other obituaries in the style of The Australian


JRR Tolkien

London, Sept. 2 Tolkien looked out at the world from eyes that were set very deep in his head. Even though the skin beneath those eyes was baggy and he wore too much tweed, the public was enthusiastic for “The Lord of the Rings.” The author and linguist was 81 years old… 

Gabriel García Márquez

Mexico City, April 17 A thick mustache enhanced the bushy effect of eyebrows that ought to have been waxed, but when Nobel Prize winning novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez smiled he radiated warmth… 


David Foster Wallace

Claremont, California September 12 He probably never ironed a shirt in his life. Yet the author of critically acclaimed novels including Ifinite Jest… 



Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

Moscow, August 3 He wore a beard like Abraham Lincoln except without the mustache, then grew in the mustache in an attempt to compensate for the lost follicles of a receding hairline. None of it quite worked as a fashion statement. Nonetheless, Solzhenitsyn did more than any other to raise international awareness of abuses in Soviet labor camps… 



Jean-Paul Sartre

Paris, April 15 None of Jean-Paul Sartre’s glasses suited his face and a wandering left eye made an unbearable impression. The chain smoking existentialist reeked of tobacco… 


My apologies to the friends and family of these talented men; no one deserves an obituary like that. No one.


Information c/o of Women’s Agenda 

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