Evan Connell Dies, Award Winning Novelist Mourned

Evan Connell, acclaimed author of matching novels "Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge," died at age 88 on Thursday.

The award-winning writer died in Santa Fe, New Mexico, according to his niece, Donna Waller.

According to Waller, Connell's cause of death was "just old age," according to the Los Angeles Times.

Born Evan Shelby Connell, Jr., the short story writer was the son and grandson of physicians, and was a pre-med student at Dartmouth from 1941 to 1943. When Connell decided to pursue a career in writing, his father, whom he deemed "a rather severe man," did not approve.

"He was concerned that I would never be able to make a living at this kind of thing," explained the writer during a past interview with The Associated Press. "It was a justifiable concern, I think. I grew up in a home where there was no music, no interest in any of the arts."

Connell went on to publish dozens of works that covered a variety of genres, leading novelist and critic Joyce Carol Oates to describe the writer as "one of our most interesting and intelligent American writers."

Native to Kansas City, Connell's earned him a nomination for the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement.

Moreover, in 2010, the novelist and poet was awarded the Los Angeles Times Book Prize: the Robert Kirsch Award for "a living author with a substantial connection to the American West, whose contribution to American letters deserves special recognition," according to the publication.

"Mrs. Bridge" and "Mr. Bridge" was adapted to the big screen in a film "Mr. and Mrs. Bridge" which starred Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman in 1990.

On Twitter, admirers of Connell's work are mourning the writer on Friday, including fellow writer Anne Rice.

"We've lost a fine writer, Evan S. Connell," the author posted to her Twitter account. "I knew him when I live in San Francisco, though not well."

Karen posted, "Mrs. Bridge is one of my favorite novels: sad to hear this news about Evan Connell."

"Evan Connell, the author of great novels including Mrs. Bridge and Mr. Bridge, has passed away," wrote Robert.

Connelly leaves behind his sister, Barbara Zimmerman, a nephew, and two nieces.