Thomas Berger, Little Big Man author, dead at 89

  • AP, New York
  • Updated: Jul 22, 2014 17:07 IST

The witty and eclectic novelist who reimagined the American West in the historical yarn Little Big Man has died in New York. Thomas Berger was 89.

Berger mastered genres ranging from detective stories to domestic farce. Literary agent Cristina Concepcion says he died July 13, days before his 90th birthday. He'd been in failing health.

Berger was one of the last major authors to have served in World War II. He wrote more than 20 books, including The Feud, a finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize.

Berger's biggest mainstream success was Little Big Man, published in 1964. It's an ultra-wry tale of 111-year-old Jack Crabb, who says he fought with the Cherokees in the Battle of Little Big Horn. It was adapted into a 1970 movie of the same name, starring Dustin Hoffman.

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