LOS ANGELES (AP) ? Hubert Selby Jr., the acclaimed and anguished author of Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream, died Monday of a lung disease, his wife said. He was 75.
Selby died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at his home in the Highland Park section of Los Angeles, said his wife of 35 years, Suzanne.
Born in New York City, Selbys experience among Brooklyns gritty longshoremen, homeless and the down-and-out formed the basis for his lauded
1964 novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, which was made into a film in 1989.
Selby shared screenwriting credit on the 2000 film version of his 1978 novel Requiem for a Dream, a harrowing look inside a familys many addictions.
His other novels include The Room (1971), The Demon (1976) and The Willow Tree (1998). A collection of short stories, Song of the Silent Snow was published in 1986.
Selby continued to work on screenplays and teach at USC until he was hospitalized last month. He had been in and out of the hospital in recent weeks and died with his wife by his side, she said.
Selby often wrote at an apartment he kept in West Hollywood. He worked in a bedroom there for at least five hours most days, and always left one line unfinished at night to have a place to start the next morning, Suzanne Selby said.
Dear Tom Sorry to hear of Selby's death - did we talk about it at Hammersmith? I don't remember. I probably told you years ago about meeting him. He was looking for a copy of a C19 evangelical pamphlet - The Greatest Thing In The World by Henry Drummond, a commentary on St Paul, Corinthians. I tracked it down for him and gave it to him at the launch/premiere of the Last Exit film. Earlier he'd written to thank me personally when I engineered new paperback editions of his novels - his letter was a mini paranoid fantasy about how his typewriter was out to get him. I had a chinese meal with him and Marion Boyars in Soho. He had only vegetables. Said he liked Creeley and (especially) Philip Larkin, and spoke of admiring Richard Price (Clockers etc). He was a very charming man, even tired, jet-lagged. The last time he'd been out of the US was in the navy. I remember him looking in a shop window at a brightly coloured Chinese silk dressing gown and wondering whether to buy it for his girlfriend. All best John