Gore Vidal, the elegant, acerbic all-around man of letters who presided with a certain relish over what he declared to be the end of American civilization, died on Tuesday at his home in the Hollywood Hills section of Los Angeles, where he moved in 2003, after years of living in Ravello, Italy. He was 86. The cause was complications of pneumonia, his nephew Burr Steers said by telephone. Mr. Vidal was, at the end of his life, an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of a breed, and he was probably right. Few American writers have
Little, Brown and Company's new imprint devoted to publishing suspense fiction now has a name: Mulholland Books, taken from Mulholland Drive, a winding stretch of road in the Hollywood Hills. "Its hairpin turns, sharp cliff faces and breathtaking views of Los Angeles have long made it synonymous with drama and suspense," stated Little, Brown, a division of Hachette Book Group, in a press release announcing the name of the new imprint. "The mysteries of Mulholland have inspired countless novels, films and works of art, from the classic mysteries of Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain to the voices of James Ellroy, Michael Connelly, Michael Mann and David Lynch."