Friday, August 29, 2014

Healy “Was Always the Welcoming Force”

I was a bit surprised, but pleased, to find that The Boston Globe’s just-published remembrance of 66-year-old author Jeremiah Healy--who took his own life on August 14--includes several quotes he gave me during an interview I conducted with him more than a decade ago for January Magazine:
John Francis Cuddy, the Hub-based hero of his 13-book mystery series, “is a man who keeps his promises, but isn’t afraid to use violence to do so,” Mr. Healy said in an April 2000 interview with January magazine. He added, however, that “the reason why I’ve been blessed with so many female readers is that Cuddy isn’t sexist. He’s also honorable in his dealings with the women in the books.”
The piece, by Globe staffer Bryan Marquard, goes on to say that “Within the community of crime writers, Mr. Healy was as loved for the time he invested as a mentor to aspiring writers as he was respected for his 18 novels and dozens of short stories.” It adds, “As a teacher [at the New England School of Law], he modeled himself after Charles Kingsfield, the Harvard Law professor portrayed by John Houseman in the film ‘The Paper Chase.’ Mr. Healy addressed students formally, by honorific and last name, and insisted they stand while answering questions.” And Marquard explains that
In a blunt, informative essay posted on his website, Mr. Healy wrote about being treated for prostate cancer a decade ago and apparently planned to write about depression, too. A week ago, [his fiancée, fellow author Sandra] Balzo was going through papers on his desk and discovered a note on a legal pad: “JH memoir on depression: Can’t see the sun even in June. A lifetime of fighting--and beating--depression.”

“Sadly, Jerry didn’t beat it,” she said by e-mail Sunday evening. “But he sure as hell did fight it.”
Click here to read the Globe’s entire report.

READ MORE:Jeremiah Healy, Who Created Boston Private Eye, Dies at 66,” by William Yardley (The New York Times).

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