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Death of a writer

Original post made by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Jan 29, 2010

READERS OF OUR Jan. 15 print edition might have noticed an [Web Link unusual obituary].

"Mark Zamen, an author and longtime Mountain View resident, died Jan. 3 after a 19-year battle with cancer. He was 58."

Zamen's passing is unusual in several ways. For one, he died fairly young, and following a very long struggle with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

And then there was Zamen himself, a Vietnam veteran, man of letters and 35-year resident of Mountain View. Not long before his death, Zamen had approached us about doing a piece on him, especially in light of the 2009 release of his novel, "Broken Saint," about a Vietnam vet struggling with his demons.

A press release he sent us describes the book as a "penetrating, fictionalized account of a real man torn asunder by forces beyond his control." It also notes that "Mark E. Zamen met the man upon whose life this novel is based on their first day in the Army. Mark was inspired to tell Tom's story after witnessing what he has gone through over the course of their nearly four decades-long friendship."

It was not long after he sent ==I Voice== writer Kelsey Mesher an e-mail that Zamen passed away. Here's part of what he wrote:

Dear Ms. Mesher,
Attached is the press release for my recently published biographical novel, "Broken Saint." I noted your [Web Link article on Ms. Reddington's new novel] in the Oct. 30 issue of the ==I Voice== and it naturally occurred to me that you may also find my book of interest, as I too am a Mountain View resident and have been since 1975; I also was vice-chair of the Citizens Communication Committee and wrote numerous pieces for ==I The View==, including the "Crimestoppers" series.

We regret missing the chance to meet Mark Zamen.

To learn more about "Broken Saint" or obtain a copy, visit [Web Link], or try [Web Link Amazon] or [Web Link Barnes & Noble].

Comments (2)

Like this comment
Posted by Tom Stoker
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:06 am

To Whom it Concerns:

I am the friend of Mark's from whom he got his material for "Broken Saint" - perhaps it is a cruel twist of fate that he has died at 59 while I was never the hopeless failure he portrays in his book and still thrive at age 65.

Tom Stoker, Lovelock, NV

Like this comment
Posted by Tom Stoker
a resident of another community
on Jun 2, 2011 at 1:20 pm

I'm Mark's friend Tom, the subject of his "Broken Saint" that I consented to, even tho I never read the draft and think he took "poetic license" in recording what I gave him - the Tom in the book dies at 50, now 66 and thriving - sorry for Mark's demise (we had a falling out and never made up).

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