Studs Terkel walks now in the same honored league as Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, John Steinbeck and the host of other writers called to chronicle their times. This bold statement will provoke debate among those who argue a distinction between fiction and non-fiction. A lifelong advocate for the provocative, Terkel would have loved that.
The public and passionate quest for truth binds Terkel to all honored authors. It is the highest calling in the humanities, a challenge that offers, as its reward, a taste of eternity on the printed page. Lesser men and women have been broken in this pursuit. Those who survive, who succeed, enter a literary pantheon that reaches across the ages.
Their greatest stories will always touch the heart.
Studs Terkel died Friday. He was 96.