E.L. Doctorow Passed Away & Fans Reacted On Twitter With Heavy Hearts

The literary world lost a great author on July 21, when historical fiction writer E.L. Doctorow died. According to the New York Times, Doctorow, who was 84 years old, passed away due to complications from his lung cancer. He is best known for 1975's Ragtime (which, in 2010, made TIME's list of the 100 greatest English-language novels since 1923), 1989's Billy Bathgate and 1971's The Book of Daniel, which was a fictionalized retelling of the trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.

The Times notes that Doctorow's writing was "widely lauded for the originality, versatility and audacity of his imagination." His oeuvres includes dozen novels, three volumes of short fiction and a play. His most recent work is 2014's Andrew's Brain , a work that his editor described as "an of-the-moment novel whose main character, speaking from an unknown place and to an unknown interlocutor, unfurls his life, his loves and the circumstances that have led him to commit a mysterious act."

Given Doctorow's influence, it's not surprising that his name was a trending topic on Twitter as news broke of his passing, with many accounts lamenting the loss of a great literary talent. You can check out some of the most moving Twitter reactions below.