vidal.gif Gore Vidal (1925- )

Friday March 22 1:50 PM EST

U.S. author Gore Vidal in hospital in Italy

SALERNO, Italy (Reuter) - American author and social critic Gore Vidal was rushed to hospital in the southern Italian town of Salerno Friday after suffering a hemmorrhage but was in a stable condition, doctors said. Vidal, 70, was taken to the San Giovanni hospital shortly after 6 a.m. following a rectal hemmorrhage. A hospital official said he would undergo tests Saturday and a decision would be made then on how long to keep him in hospital. Vidal, controversial author of such best-sellers as "Lincoln," "Myra Breckinridge" and "Burr" plus essays and screenplays, has a villa on the Italian coast. REUTER

Sunday March 24 2:34 PM EST

Gore Vidal "Doing Well" In Italian Hospital

SALERNO, Italy (Reuter) - U.S. author Gore Vidal was reported doing well Saturday, a day after being rushed to an Italian hospital with a rectal hemorrhage. Doctors in the southern Italian town of Salerno said Vidal, 70, suffered the hemorrhage at his villa in the town of Ravello on the nearby Amalfi coast. "He is doing pretty well. He is undergoing a few more tests today to determine the cause of the hemmorrhage," Dr. Francesco Mastrandrea of the town's San Giovanni hospital told Reuters in a telephone interview. "The hemorrhage has been stopped and I think he could go home in a couple of days," said Mastrandrea, adding: "His morale is good and he is chatting with everyone." Vidal, a controversial author and social critic, was taken to the hospital shortly after 6 a.m. Friday. Gore shocked Americans when he burst onto the literary scene in 1948 with a noval called "The City and the Pillar," which dealt frankly with homosexuality. He wrote frankly about homosexuality at a time when it was taboo. Vidal has made two failed bids for public office and in recent years has published a series of best-selling historical novels that analyze where he thinks America fell from grace. Few contemporary writers have generated as much controversy as Gore Vidal, who calls himself "the gentleman bitch" of American letters. "I am exactly as I appear. There is no warm, lovable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water," the tall, gray-haired author of such best-sellers as "Lincoln," "Myra Breckinridge" and "Burr," once told an interviewer. Vidal has lived with male companion Howard Austin for more than three decades, splitting their time between the United States and the villa in Italy. REUTER

The American writer Gore Vidal, b. West Point, N.Y., Oct. 3, 1925, achieved success with his first novel, Williwaw (1946), inspired by his wartime service in the Aleutians. The City and the Pillar (1948), an account of homosexual life in the United States, and The Judgment of Paris (1952), a modernization of the ancient myth, won the respect of critics. Myra Breckinridge (1968), an outrageous spoof of Hollywood featuring a transsexual hero/heroine, brought him a much larger reading public. Vidal demonstrated his flair for dialogue and political understanding in two successful plays: Visit to a Small Planet (1957) and The Best Man (1960; film, 1964). His penchant for re-creating history led to Julian (1964), a fictional biography of the Roman emperor; Burr (1973), 1876 (1976), Empire (1987), and Hollywood (1990), studies of 19th- and 20th-century U.S. politics; and Creation (1981), about the 5th century BC. Vidal's acerbic literary and political essays have been published in the collections Homage to Daniel Shays (1973), Matters of Fact and Fiction (1977), and The Second American Revolution (1982). In 1992, Vidal brought out Screening History, a nonfiction work concerned with film themes, and the fictional Live from Golgotha, which some readers called sacrilegious.

Bibliography: Dick, Bernard F., The Apostate Angel: Gore Vidal (1974); Kiernan, Robert F., Gore Vidal (1982); White, Ray Lewis, Gore Vidal (1968).

Text Copyright © 1993 Grolier Incorporated

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