Author of book on gay father’s secret life dies

Posted on 05 Jan 2006 at 10:23pm
By Associated Press

BARRINGTON, Ill. Author and writing teacher Susan Bergman, whose 1994 book “Anonymity” dealt with her father’s death from AIDS and her family’s traumatic discovery of his long-hidden homosexuality, has died. She was 48.

One of her sisters is the actress Anne Heche, who had a prominent lesbian relationship with comedian Ellen DeGeneres from 1997-2000.

Bergman died Sunday of brain cancer at her second home in suburban Barrington, according to her husband. “She expressed herself most beautifully and best on the page,” he said. “She always created beauty of what life dealt her.”

“Anonymity,” which she began as her doctoral dissertation, reflects on her past after learning in 1983 that her dying father, Don Heche, had a secret life as a gay man.

“Having to face a month before he died the realization that my father was a homosexual or bisexual … that was so shocking and there was no suspicion of that in our lives, not even in my mother’s, who had been married to him for 25 years,” she said in a 1994 interview.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition of January 6, 2006.

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