Sunday, January 04, 2004
Westporter Douglas Anne Munson, an author who wrote three books about the hard edges of Los Angeles, has died. She was 54.
Munson died Dec. 22 of cancer at Norwalk Hospital, Lucas Crown, a writer and friend, told The Associated Press.
In her first stark novel, 1990’s “El Nino,” Munson explored the underworld of child abuse and abusers in the criminal court system in Los Angeles.
She drew on her experience as an attorney for more than a decade in dependency court to write the book, which was well regarded by critics.
A notice in Publishers Weekly called the novel “a raw, sometimes ugly book that will distress but not fail to move.”
Two other novels, “Dogtown” and “Soultown,” were written under the pen name Mercedes Lambert and introduced two female detectives - attorney Whitney Logan and former prostitute Lupe Ramos - to mystery readers.
Munson was named Douglas for an uncle who was killed in World War II. She was born in Crossville, Tenn., the only child of a newspaperman.
Her father discouraged her early efforts to write.
“Dad always told me that I couldn’t write, that I shouldn’t write. He told me it’s a tough gig; he didn’t think I could cut it,” she told the Los Angeles Times in 1990.
Munson attended the University of New Mexico and majored in Latin American studies. She lived in Ecuador for a year and after returning to the United States, she went to law school at the University of California, Los Angeles.
She worked on her novels at night to confront the pain of witnessing the abuse of children.
Munson also taught a creative writing course at UCLA and later learned to teach English as a second language.
She fought breast cancer while writing “El Nino” and was diagnosed again with cancer while living in Prague. She returned to the United States and settled in Westport to seek treatment.
She had finished a fourth novel, “Ghosttown,” and efforts will be made to have it published posthumously, said Crown, her literary executor.
No information on survivors was immediately available.
Posted 01/04/04 at 05:36 PM Permalink
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Has information been obtained regarding survivors? And when will a memorial service be held in Los Angeles, if there is one planned? I am an old childhood friend of Dougie’s (Douglas) from summers she spent in Crossville, TN with her Grandfather. Please send any information available. Or forward to anyone that could give me information. Thank you for your attention to this request. Beverly (Plumb) Dixon
I was Douglas’s hospice nurse. Please call me…203 762 9679
I would be interested in knowing when the memorial is going to be held in los angeles..
Beverly - How can I get in touch with you? Lucas [email protected]