Author James D. Houston (left) receives a gift from DHPA President, Steve Lockart.

Author James D. Houston (left) receives a gift from DHPA President, Steve Lockart.

We are so saddened to learn of the death of author James D. Houston.  Mr. Houston died of complications from cancer at the age of 75.  We consider him our friend; he was the first author to be featured in our Dublin Reads program and he made our first attempt at this kind of programming so easy, we actually have continued to offer it!  He was welcoming and gracious from the first email contact I had with him, and was simply delighted that his book had been chosen.  In April of 2008 he came to Dublin for an author visit and I know that everyone who came found him to be a fascinating speaker as well as a humble recipient of our gifts.  DHPA sponsored his appearance offering him a DHPA pin; he also got his own Dublin Reads t-shirt with Snow Mountain Passage inscribed.

The Los Angeles Times obituary quotes California historian Kevin Starr, ” Few writers have more consistently addressed the enduring issues arising out of the California experience than James D. Houston.  He sets the standards by which the rest of us judged our own efforts.”   His lyrical evocation of the California landscape, from the brutality of a Sierra winter to the lush wildlife and spring rains of the central valley and San Francisco Bay, were often mentioned by readers as a having left a lasting impression after reading Snow Mountain Passage.

He always signed off his emails as “All the best from Santa Cruz. ”  So now we say all the best to you Mr. Houston, and thank you for the gift of your work left to us.  Our sincerest condolences to his wife, author Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston, and their family.

 “All music is what awakes from you when you are reminded by the instruments.”  Quote from Walt Whitman on James D. Houston’s website.