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Callenbach, `Ecotopia' author, dies in Calif at 83

By Garance Burke
Associated Press / April 26, 2012
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SAN FRANCISCO—The film scholar who wrote the 1975 cult novel "Ecotopia" that inspired generations of environmentalists and readers yearning for an ecologically sustainable society has died in California. Ernest "Chick" Callenbach was 83.

His wife, Christine Leefeldt, said Thursday he died of cancer on April 16 in Berkeley.

Callenbach self-published "Ecotopia" in which a new, environmentally conscious nation comprised of Northern California, Oregon and Washington existed. The book sold nearly one million copies and was translated into a dozen languages.

Callenbach grew up on a farm in Williamsport, Pa., and moved to California, where he worked as an assistant editor for UC Press. He founded Film Quarterly in 1958, a magazine he led for 33 years.

He also wrote "Living Cheaply with Style," offering advice to those seeking a simpler life.

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