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News & Features » February 2014 » Akashic Remembers Maggie Estep

Akashic Remembers Maggie Estep

Maggie Estep

Maggie Estep (1963–2014)

It was with shock and heartbreak that I received the news from my friend Richard Nash yesterday morning that our beloved author Maggie Estep just died of a heart attack. Only a month has passed since the death of Amiri Baraka, another Akashic author who we will never stop celebrating and mourning.

Maggie first came to Akashic in 2004 as a contributor to the fiction anthology Brooklyn Noir. A few years later she wrote “Alice Fantastic,” undeniably one of the best short stories we have ever published; it first appeared in Queens Noir and Maggie later developed it into a novel by the same name, which we published in 2009.

Whether writing about horses, dogs, derelicts, or desire, Maggie’s words jumped from the page. She balanced her electricity with her natural story-telling abilities and her adoration of, and compassion for, the off-kilter and the downtrodden.

Unlike Amiri’s passing on January 9 of this year, the news about Maggie was completely unexpected. I wish I believed in an Afterlife, as it’s quite easy to conjure Amiri and Maggie reading poetry together at some literary dive up in the clouds. They were both committed for life to language, stories, and ideas, neither of them selling out their dreams or fantasies where so many others did.

We will think of Maggie and Amiri always.

—Johnny Temple

To read Maggie’s obituary in the New York Times, please click here.

Posted: Feb 13, 2014

Category: News | Tags: , , , ,