Acclaimed writer Evan S. Connell has died at 88

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A niece of Evan S. Connell says the acclaimed author of "Mrs. Bridge" and writer of literary explorations ranging from Depression-era Kansas City to shipwrecks in ancient times has died.

Donna Waller of Hilton Head Island, S.C., said her uncle was found dead Thursday at his Santa Fe apartment and likely died of old age. He was 88.

Connell wrote 19 books, including two book-length poems, a biography of Spanish painter Francisco Goya and a historically detailed novel about the Crusades.

His best-known books included his first novel, "Mrs. Bridge," published in 1959 and nominated for a National Book Award. His historical account of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, "Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn," was a best-seller and adapted for a network television miniseries.

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