I write with a heavy heart about a man I never met and knew for only six months. Word came this week that David Naylor, author, architectural historian, and expert on America’s grand picture palaces, died of a heart attack. He was just 57 years old.
David emailed me in August to ask for some publishing advice. He had read and admired a book I published at Random House about “the battle of the sexes” between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, by the great sportswriter Selena Roberts. He was now determined to write about Title IX and the Women’s National Soccer Team, and held Selena’s book up as model. “I want to get something out fast,” he said. “Even though I am a Luddite of the first order, I just did an eBook in under six months.” That immediately endeared me to him. Later on he wrote: “Don’t know about yourself, but half the reason I write books is so I can learn about things previously uncharted (the other half is about the travel–certainly not about the huge heaping royalties, eh?).” He was an endlessly curious man, and also modest, funny, generous, and sweet. [continue reading…]