Connie Martinson Obituary, Death – Connie Martinson, a voracious reader and ardent supporter of authors, has passed away at her home in Beverly Hills. She was known for her long-running cable television show titled “Connie Martinson Talks Books,” on which she conducted interviews with thousands of authors. Martinson was 90 years old when he passed away on March 9th, peacefully. Her cable television show first aired in 1979, and by the time it went off the air in 2015, it had been watched by millions of people across the United States and Canada.
She conducted interviews with a distinguished group of authors, including a rising Barack Obama, who spoke eloquently about his then-new book, “Dreams From My Father,” in 1995. She also spoke with other prominent fiction and nonfiction authors, including Walter Mosley, Ray Bradbury, Maya Angelou, Studs Terkel, Norman Mailer, Carolyn See, Joyce Carol Oates, and Amos Oz. Her roster of interviewees is impressive. “Connie Martinson was an essential part of the literary life of this city,” said author Janet Fitch, whose novel “White Oleander” was a best-seller, an Oprah’s Book Club selection, and was adapted into a movie.
Fitch is the author of the novel “White Oleander,” which was a selection of Oprah’s Book Club. “She was an excellent interviewer, and she read your work with a lot of attention and consideration. She possessed remarkable clarity and insight, and she was able to zero in on what was essential at any given moment. The vivacity of her face and eyes exuded a certain calming quality to everybody who looked at them. You were able to observe the spark of pleasure that she experienced both from reading and from talking about reading. She was the kind of lady that you would want to have a conversation with at a cocktail party or a dinner.
After Martinson gave the tapes to the Claremont Colleges Digital Library in 2008, about two thousand of her interviews have been digitized and made available online there. There are now 1,801 items in the Connie Martinson Talks Books Collection that have been digitized and made available in the online library.