Archives for posts with tag: Carol DeChant


As we remember Patricia Neal, who passed away on this day in 2010, I’d like to mention that Neal is included in Great American Catholic Eulogies, a wonderful, uplifting book that celebrates the lives of many renowned Americans. Writers and artists featured in the volume include: Flannery O’Connor, Walker Percy, Andy Warhol, and Andre Dubus. Award-winning journalist Carol DeChant selected and introduced the eulogies and celebrated author Thomas Lynch wrote the foreword. Find out more about Great American Catholic Eulogies here.


In my June 26th post about Stephen King’s views on plotting (he said don’t do it!), I mentioned that Charles Dickens was probably another novelist who didn’t plot out his books or make notes. Writer Carol DeChant advised that Dickens did, in fact, make notes — lots of them! — and suggested I refer to a book published by the University of Chicago Press.

Dickens’ Working Notes for His Novels is currently selling — and this is a new copy, not a collector’s item — for $132.50 on Amazon. I checked with the L.A. Public Library, but it only carries one reference copy. The good news is that some of the book is available via Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature.

Thanks for the tip, Carol. I only wish I could read the entire book!


Renowned authors Shelby Foote (left in above photo) and Walker Percy (right) met when they were 10 years old and remained best friends until Percy’s death in 1990 (Foote passed away in 2005). Writers in the best Southern tradition, the two men enjoyed distinguished careers — Percy as a National-Book-Award-winning novelist and Foote as a historian and sometime novelist. Six months after Percy’s death, Foote delivered a moving tribute to his friend at a memorial service. Here is a fragment:

One secret of the longevity of our friendship was that each of us knew what would make the other angry, and we were careful not to venture into such areas—except on purpose, which would open the matter to drumfire argument and laughter, time and time again, all down the years.”

I read Foote’s eulogy in a wonderful book — just out in paperback — Great American Catholic Eulogies by Carol DeChant. While eulogies most often celebrate the departed, they are also crafted for people still very much alive. (Eulogia = “good words” in Greek!)

Great American Catholic Eulogies is available at