Barry Hughart (1934-2019)

Writer Barry Hughart, 85, died August 1, 2019. Hughart was best known for his Master Li series, set in a mythical version of China, beginning with World Fantasy and Mythopoeic Award winner Bridge of Birds (1984) and continuing with The Story of the Stone (1988) and Eight Skilled Gentlemen (1991), all later collected as The Chronicles of Master Li and Number Ten Ox (1998).

Hughart was born March 13, 1934 in Peoria IL, and went to college at Columbia University, graduating in 1956. He enlisted in the US Air Force and served from 1956-60, spending time in the Korean DMZ. From 1960 to 1965 he worked with a military surplus company, and from 1965-70 was manager of the Lenox Hill Book shop in NYC. He eventually settled in Tucson AZ. In addition to novels, he also wrote dialogue for films.


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7 thoughts on “Barry Hughart (1934-2019)

  • August 16, 2019 at 1:40 pm
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    My arithmetic is deplorable, but shouldn’t Hughart’s birth year be 1934? Otherwise his age at T.O.D. would have been 95.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 1:42 pm
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    If Mr. Hughart was born in 1924, then at death he would have been 95 and not 85.

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  • August 16, 2019 at 2:06 pm
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    Please check your math. Barry Hughart was apparently 95 at the time of his death, not 85.

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  • August 18, 2019 at 11:39 am
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    1924-2019 would make him 95, not 85.

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  • August 28, 2019 at 7:50 am
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    I’d always hoped that we’d maybe see other Master Li novels after all.
    But we’ll always have the three he gifted upon us! ūüôā

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    • September 6, 2019 at 4:17 pm
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      I had hoped for that too! I’ve loved these books ever since I first stumbled across them.

      Who knows? Maybe we’ll be fantastically lucky and someone some day will turn these stories into a really great tv series or movie trilogy.

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  • September 9, 2019 at 8:58 am
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    Bridge of Birds is my very favorite novel, period. Hats off to Barry Hughart, the master of Master Li, and may the Great Wheel of Transmigrations offer him an auspicious return!

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