Day, Douglas (Turner), (III) 1932-2004

views updated

DAY, Douglas (Turner), (III) 1932-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born May 1, 1932, in Colon, Panama; died of an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound October 10, 2004, in Charlottesville, VA. Educator and author. Day was professor at the University of Virginia and an award-winning biographer, editor, and novelist. Born in Panama, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Navy, he attended college at the University of Virginia, completing his B.A. in 1954. He then enlisted in the U.S. Marines, serving as a pilot until an automobile accident in 1955 grounded him. He left the Marines in 1957, but remained in the Marine Corps Reserve, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. Day returned to the University of Virginia and earned his Ph.D. in 1962. He joined the faculty there in 1960 as an English instructor and became Commonwealth Professor of English in 1977. A popular teacher who was fluent in Spanish, Day was known for his knowledge of Latin-American literature and as an expert on writers William Faulkner and Malcolm Lowry. His critical studies and biographies were highly acclaimed, and he won the Phi Beta Kappa Prize in 1963 for his first book, Swifter than Reason: The Poetry and Criticism of Robert Graves (1963). He later edited Faulkner's Flags in the Dust (1973) and Lowry's Dark as the Grave Wherein My Friend Is Laid (1968), and he won the National Book Award for Malcolm Lowry: A Biography (1973). Later on in his career, Day increasingly focused on his own fiction writing, while also teaching more creative writing classes. He was the author of the novels Journey of the Wolf (1977), which won the Rosenthal Award from the Institute of Arts and Letters, and The Prison Notebooks of Ricardo Flores Magon (1991); he was working on another novel at the time of his death.



Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2004, p. B11.

New York Times, October 19, 2004, p. A27.

Washington Post, October 16, 2004, p.B6.