Dickey died of cancer on Sunday according to his publicist at Penguin Random House. He was 59.
A former publicist, Emily Canders, at Dutton Books recalled working with Dickens. “I’ll always remember what a kind, genuine person he was. Even when I was a young publicist (that definitely made mistakes here and there!) he was always so gracious. And, it’s rare to find fans more loyal than his. He’ll be missed here at Dutton.”
Dickey authored fifteen novels many of which were on the bestseller lists of the Blackboard, The Wall Street Journal and The New Times. While Dickey may no longer be with us, his memory and literary works will live on forever. Here’s a look at some things you may not have known about Eric Jerome Dickey.
He was a member of a Greek organization.
Dickey, born in Memphis, Tennessee, graduated from Memphis State University where he was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity.
He had a completely different career before becoming an author.
But, becoming a bestselling author wasn’t initially in the cards for him. Upon graduating from Memphis State, Dickey moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in engineering.
He had a brief career as a stand-up comedian and actor.
After a stint as a software developer, he’d go on to pursue acting and stand-up comedy. And, though he made rounds on the local and national comedy circuit, his career journey would eventually lead him down the literary road.
One of his books become a play.
His book Friends and Lovers was turned into a touring play.
If one wasn’t enough, try two. Another book become a play.
If one touring play wasn’t enough, try two. Another book he authored, Cheaters, was also turned into a touring play.
He’s been compared to singer and songwriter Prince.
The New York Times journalist, Janet Maslin, compared his origin to that of a Prince song. In a 2004 review of his novel Drive Me Crazy Maslin stated, “Mr. Dickey’s characters have enough sultry self-confidence to suggest, at their best, a Prince song on paper.”
His relation to Black Panther and X-Men.
Dickey is the author of a six-issue miniseries of comic books for Marvel Enterprises featuring Storm (X-Men) and the Black Panther.
Possible film inspired by his novel may be coming.
His novel Naughty or Nice has been optioned by Lionsgate Films.
He’s considered one of the best authors.
A New York Times obituary described Dickey as “one of the most successful Black authors of the last quarter-century.”
A posthumously novel is coming.
His final novel, The Son of Mr. Suleman, will be published posthumously in April 2021.