Tribute to Barney Rosset


Christopher G. Moore


Barney Rosset died in New York City on Tuesday 21 February 2012. I received an email from Barney’s son, Peter, this morning. A couple of days ago I sent Astrid and Barney an email. I told them that I loved them. Which I do. But I didn’t get a real chance to say goodbye. That is one of those regrets that stays with a person. This is my way of saying goodbye, Barney.

I lost someone who as a mentor, a father figure, and a friend. Our friendship started around the time my dad had died in the early 1990s. Barney’s death came within ten days of the 20th anniversary of my dad’s death. In many ways, Barney became my substitute father. Barney came to Bangkok to see me and I traveled to New York to see him and his wife, Astrid.

One year Barney brought along his son Peter to Bangkok.

We had a family dinner at Pan Pan on Soi 33 Sukhumvit and Peter and Barney swapped stories about personalities inside left wing movements in Latin America and Cuba. On another trip he brought his daughter Chantal and again we had dinner, same restaurant, same menu. Barney ordered the pasta. He didn’t eat anything that night. I rarely saw him eat anything in Bangkok or New York in all of the years that I knew him. He always took the (it is hard to call them leftovers) home for the next day. Astrid reported that he ate the meal the next day.

Barney loved Bangkok and Pattaya. He’d always find a place with a good pool table. He also played tennis. I have the video footage.

You can read his obit in the New York Times.