Winsor, Kathleen 1919-2003
WINSOR, Kathleen 1919-2003
OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born October 16, 1919, in Olivia, MN; died May 26, 2003, in New York, NY. Novelist. Winsor became famous for writing what many critics consider the first modern blockbuster novel, 1944's Forever Amber. She was a graduate of the University of California, where she received her B.A. in 1938, but with the exception of working for a time as a reporter and receptionist for the Oakland Tribune, she spent most of her life as a homemaker and writer. Believing from a young age that she would write a bestselling novel, she researched her first book while her husband was serving in the military during World War II. Becoming thoroughly acquainted with England's Restoration period, Winsor penned an epic tale of romance featuring spunky, individualistic, passionate heroine Amber St. Claire. The finished book earned her a $50,000 advance from Macmillan and sold 100,000 copies in its first week after publication. Although it was censored in fourteen states for being too risqué, Forever Amber easily became the most popular work of fiction of its day. A 1947 movie adaptation also earned the author another $200,000, a huge fortune at the time. Unfortunately, though Winsor wrote seven more novels, including The Lovers (1952), Calais (1979), and Robert and Arabella (1986), she was unable to repeat the success of her first book.
OBITUARIES AND OTHER SOURCES:
Writers Directory, 18th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2003.
Chicago Tribune, May 31, 2003, section 2, p. 10.
Los Angeles Times, May 31, 2003, p. B23.
New York Times, May 28, 2003, p. A21.
Times (London, England), June 2, 2003.
Washington Post, May 29, 2003, p. B6.