Anita Shreve, Best-Selling Novelist; 1946-2018

April 4, 2018

Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve, the best-selling author, passed away last Thursday, March 29. According to her publishing company, Alfred A. Knopf, the cause of death was cancer. Ms. Shreve was 71.

Over a writing career that consisted of 18 books, Ms. Shreve garnered national acclaim for her explorations of change and loss. The Weight of Water (1997) is cited as “a cryptic long-last narrative inside an impending family tragedy wrapped in a true-crime murder mystery framed by the aftermath of all of the above,” according to the New York Times. The Weight of Water, along with The Pilot’s Wife and Resistance, were adapted into films.

Ms. Shreve was born in Boston in 1946 to her father Richard, an airline pilot, and her mother Bibiana Kennedy, a homemaker. Growing up in Dedham, Massachusetts, much of Ms. Shreve’s work is located in the rugged landscape situated within the American Northeast.

According to a story in the Press Herald, when asked about how the region, specifically the time she spent resting there, Ms. Shreve said: “I sit on the porch and I look at the water. I’m sort of astonished at the number of hours you can spend doing this. You’re not remotely bored. You’re not wishing you were doing something else. You are just absorbing something very, very health-giving. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to meditating. And it’s not formal at all, you sit there and your mind just empties.”

Ms. Shreve touched “the lives of millions of readers around the world,” said Jordan Pavlin, Ms. Shreve’s editor. “Some of her most, rich, and unforgettable work in the last years of her life.”

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