Alas, dead at 76. I never loved his novels, but I've read and re-read the Henry Bech stories with great enjoyment, and have long been a fan of the essays and reviews. I honestly have no idea what history will have to say about him; I suspect he'll be remembered as the author of the Rabbit Angstrom books. I don't know how well these will age--perhaps not that well. (I'm accustomed to this being a minority opinion.) But his short stories, I hope, especially the early ones, may rally, and come to form his legacy. The best book about him, on the other hand, is easy: Nicholson Baker's hilarious U and I.
I met him once, and told him I'd used a quote from a fanciful essay of his as the epigram for Mailman. He didn't know what the hell I was talking about--not only my book, which it was clear he hadn't heard of, but the essay of his I used, of which he had no recollection. All I can say is, may I live so long, and write so much, that I can't remember the half of it. Sad to see him go.