Katherine Dunn, author behind Geek Love, dead at 70

Remembering the Most Tragic Losses of 2015

Katherine Dunn, the writer behind the best-selling novel Geek Love, died Wednesday in her Portland home. The 70-year-old's son confirmed the news with Willamette Week on Thursday, citing complications from lung cancer. "Geek Love is a book that will live forever," said Jeff Baker, a retired Oregonian critic. "It's so influential." Now a cult classic, the book was published in 1989 and that year became a National Book Award finalist. Dunn also penned the novels Attic and Truck; and filed pieces for such publications as the New York Times, PDXS, Playboy, The Oregonian, and Willamette Week, among many others. On the non-fiction front, Dunn was especially known for her boxing writings, which, in 2009, were anthologized in One Ring Circus: Dispatches from the World of Boxing. Her School of Hard Knocks art project (published here), which chronicled the history of Stateside boxing gyms with photographer Jim Lommasson, notably won the Dorothea Lange–Paul Taylor Prize in 2004. Dunn is survived by her son and husband.

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