Gore Vidal was an essayist, author, playwright, screenwriter and political activist. His many novels include Kalki, The City and the Pillar, Creation, Empire and Hollywood. His books of essays and non-fiction include Rocking the Boat and Screening History. His story in Granta 32, ‘Epistle to the New Age’, was extracted from a novel of the same title. He died on 31 July 2012.