Sol Yurick, an author who gained popularity mainly due to the novel "The Warriors", died Saturday, Jan. 5 in Manhattan. The cause of death was from complications of lung cancer, the NY Times reported on Jan. 9. Yurick was born in 1925 and he worked as a social worker before embarking on a literary career.
Yurick grew up in a family that was heavily influenced by the communist activists during the Depression. He served in World War II, during which he trained as a surgical technician. After serving in the Army, he attended NYU and majored in literature.
Joyce Carol Oates, American author, said that his writing was exceptionally realistic, probably due to his experience as a social worker in New York. She said this about Yurick,
“Any modestly gifted writer can venture into ‘surrealism.’ Few indeed can handle the densities and outrageous paradoxes of ‘real’ life. The straightforward sections of ‘The Bag’ and ‘Fertig,’ and the unfantasized horrors of this collection’s realistic stories, have a power to move us, urgently and deeply, that cannot be matched by any of the author’s superficially sophisticated contemporaries.”
Despite publishing eight novels (the last in 1999), "The Warriors" is the most famous work of Sol Yurick, although he did not consider it his best. The novel achieved considerable success after it was published, but its film adaptation by Walter Hill allowed it to reach a new circle of followers, and made it a pop culture hit.