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Katherine Dunn, Author of Geek Love, Dies at 70

She was a Portland author and former WW columnist with a yen for boxing.

Katherine Dunn, whose best-selling novel Geek Love was a National Book Award finalist in 1989 and became a cult classic, died May 11 at her Portland home. She was 70.

Her son, Eli Dapolonia, says complications from lung cancer caused Dunn's death.

In addition to Geek Love and two earlier novels, Attic and Truck, Dunn worked as a journalist, writing for WW throughout the 1980s and also for The New York Times, Vogue, the Los Angeles Times, Playboy, The Oregonian, PDXS and other publications.

"For nearly 10 years, Katherine Dunn's brilliant prose graced the pages of Willamette Week," says editor and publisher Mark Zusman. "Her boxing coverage, her weekly column and her reportage on the underbelly of Portland were without parallel. She was a loyal friend, a great raconteur, and had as firm a handle on the tools of our craft as any writer I had the pleasure of working with. While I was her editor, I always felt like she was my mentor."

A 2014 WW cover story described the enormous emotion fans of Geek Love felt about the book and their fervent desire that Dunn would finish a long-promised sequel. That book was never published.

Dunn's son provided this account of his mother's life.

"They enjoyed four amazing years together," says her son, Eli.

Dunn is survived by Pomerantz and her son, Eli. Condolences may be sent to 25 NW 23rd Place, Suite 6, PMB 249, Portland, OR 97210. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made in her name to National Public Radio. Funeral arrangements will be private.

Read more:

Katherine Dunn's Greatest Hits In Willamette Week

Katherine Dunn's One Ring Circus