David Rhodes Obituary, Death – David Allen Rhodes, 75, died on November 10, 2022, in Iowa City, Iowa, as a result of complications after cancer surgery. He passed away with grace, charity, and humor. He was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and spent the majority of his adult life in an ancient farmhouse in Wisconsin’s Driftless region. He had lately relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, where his entire immediate family now resides. He was friendly and accessible, with a quick wit and a bright mind. He relished stimulating debates on any subject imaginable with anyone who was prepared to listen. He read a much. He was enthralled with books, philosophy, nature, wildlife, bees, and dogs. When you interacted with him, you felt liberated from obscurity and rooted in community.
David attended Beloit College, Marlboro College, and Iowa Writers Workshop before earning his BA and MFA. He specialized in literary fiction. His debut novel, published while still a student in 1971, was shortly followed by two others, both of which were warmly appreciated. It took thirty years after a motorcycle accident in 1977 for Milkweed Editions to publish his novel Driftless in 2008. Painting Beyond Walls, his sixth novel, was released in September 2022 to a positive and enthusiastic response. He worked tirelessly on his writing. As a perfectionist, he rewrote everything.
He received numerous honors for his books, including the Milkweed National Fiction Prize in 2008, the UW-Whitewater Chancellor’s Regional Literary Award in 2009, the Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in 2010 and the Wisconsin Notable Author Award in 2011. (2018). His books were well-read and critically acclaimed. Driftless was awarded a Best Book of the Year by the Christian Science Monitor and the California Literary Review, and it was described as “the best work of fiction to come out of the Midwest in recent years” by Alan Cheuse of the Chicago Tribune. In 2015, his fifth novel, Jewelweed, was a runner-up in the All Iowa Reads program.