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British travel writer and novelist Jonathan Raban has died at 80

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From The Guardian: The British author, who lived in the US, blended memoir and travelogue in books that were often inspired by the sea.

Jonathan Raban, the British travel writer, critic and novelist known for his candid accounts of traveling the world in books such as Passage to Juneau and Coasting, has died aged 80, his agent has confirmed.

Born in Norfolk in 1942, Raban grew up the son of an Anglican clergyman in several Church of England vicarages. The family had little income but several “upper-middle-class connections: coat-of-arms, one-time country house”. “We belonged nowhere,” he wrote in his 1986 book Coasting. “We had the money of one lot, the voices of another – and we had an unearthly goodliness which removed us from the social map altogether.”

Raban, who died on Tuesday in Seattle, attended the University of Hull – where he became friends with Philip Larkin – and went into academia at the University of East Anglia. But he spent his vacations writing fiction and journalism, and eventually moved to London to become a freelance writer in 1969, lodging with the US poet Robert Lowell. The two became friends, and Raban was inspired by Lowell’s ability for “turning the turmoil of his life into art”.

Read full post on The Guardian

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