One year and a day ago, early on September 12, 2019, Dia slipped into eternal sleep after a bravely fought battle with cancer.
For those that knew her, it may come as no surprise that — even in the last months of her life — she was working on a new novel and discussing a previous work and its future.
Why did it take so long to announce her passing? The reasons are myriad, but basically can be boiled down to Dia being a very private person, but it being a very painful thing to set to paper (so to speak) has played no small part.
If you would like to honor her memory, I can think of few ways better than to read well and read voraciously. Share your love of books with others. Share Dia’s books with others. If your local library doesn’t have copied of her novels, get in touch and see what can be done.
For any that have yet to read Heartsick, I cannot recommend it enough. Of her available works, it is (in my opinion) her greatest by far. I first read it with an editor’s eye when she was getting it ready and, two years later, it’s still lighting up corners of my brain.
If you’re a writer, there’s another way to walk tall in her footsteps: write people of color into your works (even if you, yourself, are not a POC) and help stop the outmoded notion of white as default in fiction.
For those curious about the future of Dia’s literary legacy, I suggest subscribing to the e-mail list. Things have been in limbo during this difficult period, but, in time, there may be news.
I would ask that you continue to respect Dia’s privacy and that of her family. For some of us, it’s still a gutting thing and we are often hit with the pangs of terrific loss.
For many of us, Dia will never be forgotten. She was a joy to know in person and she was as full of character as any of the people in her works and she will be ever missed.