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Little Big Man novelist Thomas Berger dies aged 89

By Colin Francis

The witty novelist who reimagined the American West in the historical yarn Little Big Man has died in New York. Thomas Berger was 89.

Berger mastered genres ranging from detective stories to domestic farce.

Literary agent Cristina Concepcion said Mr Berger died on July 13, days before his 90th birthday. He had been in failing health.

Berger was one of the last major authors to have served in the Second World War.

He wrote more than 20 books, including The Feud, a finalist for the 1984 Pulitzer Prize.

His biggest mainstream success was Little Big Man, published in 1964.

It is the wry tale of 111-year-old Jack Crabb, who says he fought with the Cherokees in the Battle of Little Big Horn when General Custer was killed.

It was adapted into a 1970 movie of the same name, starring Dustin Hoffman.

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