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Subject: Carolyn Doty, 62; Professor Wrote Novels, Book Reviews


Author:
Kansas
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Date Posted: April 02, 2003 4:17:22 EDT

Carolyn Doty, novelist, professor and for 20 years the fiction director of the annual weeklong Squaw Valley Writers Conference, has died. She was 62.

Doty, an English professor at the University of Kansas since 1986, died March 10 at her home in Lawrence, Kansas, of a heart attack.

She published four psychological drama novels in a dozen years -- "A Day Later" in 1980, "Fly Away Home" in 1982, "What She Told Him" in 1985 and "Whisper" in 1992 -- and had been working on a novel she called "Vanishing Point."

When "Whisper" was released more than a decade ago, a Washington Post reviewer called it "a spellbinder -- a love story, a chiller and an allegory about art besides."

The Times' reviewer, author Carolyn See, observed: " 'Whisper' can be read as a love story, a ghost story or as a literary game ... I think you give this one to smart people as a sophisticated diversion -- the literary equivalent of tournament dominoes."

Born Carolyn House in the small town of Tooele, Utah, she graduated from the University of Utah and moved to Berkeley in 1964 with her first husband, Bill Doty.

She began her dual writing and teaching career only in 1977, after their separation, when she was accepted into the creative writing program at UC Irvine where she earned a master of fine arts degree. Oakley Hall, director of the program and co-founder with fellow novelist Blair Fuller of the Squaw Valley Writers Community, persuaded her to join the Squaw Valley program.

From 1980, when she was lecturing at San Francisco State, until 2000, long after she had moved to Kansas, Doty ran the fiction section of the summer conference.

As part of her work, she read the submissions of short stories or parts of novels from applicants and selected attendees for the sessions with published writers.

In addition to her novels, Doty wrote numerous book reviews and essays for such publications as The Times and the Paris Review.

Divorced twice, she is survived by her mother, Dorothy, of Peoria, Ariz.; a sister, Janet, of Tooele; and two children from her marriage to Doty, Stuart of Vallejo, Calif., and Margaret of Oakland.

The Squaw Valley Writers Community plans to endow a fiction scholarship in Doty's name at its annual conference. Memorial donations can be made to the University of Kansas, KU Endowment Assn., P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044-0928.

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