Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Chicago’s Beloved Memoirist, Succumbs To Cancer at 51

Amy Krouse Rosenthal, a Chicago memoirist, children’s book author, and joyful prankster died early this morning from ovarian cancer, her agent has confirmed, just 10 days after her New York Times Modern Love essay “You Might Want to Marry My Husband” went viral.

The essay was structured as a dating profile for Jason, Rosenthal’s husband of 26 years. It told the story of their life together and listed Jason’s many fine qualities: handsome, artistic, an excellent father, a thoughtful spouse, thoroughly lovable. “I am wrapping this up on Valentine’s Day,” she wrote, “and the most genuine, non-vase-oriented gift I can hope for is that the right person reads this, finds Jason, and another love story begins.”

Rosenthal, who was 51, had previously discussed her cancer diagnosis. But until last month, had never revealed that she was in the terminal stages. The Monday after the column appeared, Rosenthal’s family released a statement that she was in hospice.

“All over the house, downstairs, upstairs and in the kitchen, Jason had hung music sheets with words to different love songs for Amy, with notes on each one,” her literary agent, Amy Rennert, told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The immediate outpouring has been sadness and dismay.

“My friend Amy Krouse Rosenthal has died,” the YA author John Green wrote at the start of a Twitter stream. “She found ways to be kind to readers, to give them surprises and joy. No one wrote like Amy. No one saw the world the way she did.”

Others who tweeted news of her demise, and their feelings for her included:

Claire Zulkey

Rob Mills

And Bianca Jagger.

Aimee Levitt reports regularly on Chicagoland for the Forward. Contact her at feedback@forward.com. Follow her on Twitter @aimeelevitt

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Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Chicago’s Beloved Memoirist, Succumbs To Cancer at 51

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