The way E.L. Doctorow told it, the phrase "historical novel" is something of a misnomer when it comes to his writing. "I think really of myself as a national novelist; I am an American novelist writing about my country." Mary Altaffer/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Mary Altaffer/AP

E.L. Doctorow, center, stands with other National Book Critics Circle award winners in March 2006 at a reception following the awards ceremony in New York. Doctorow's "The March" won the prize for fiction that year. Tina Fineberg/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Tina Fineberg/AP

NPR's Eleanor Beardsley saw Doctor Zhivago at age 14 and was instantly smitten with Omar Sharif, shown here in a scene from the film with Julie Christie. MGM/The Kobal Collection hide caption

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Omar Sharif in one of his signature roles, the revolutionary poet Doctor Zhivago in the film of the same name. The Kobal Collection hide caption

itoggle caption The Kobal Collection

Burt Shavitz poses for a photo on his property in Parkman, Maine, in 2014. Shavitz, a former beekeeper, is the Burt behind Burt's Bees, a natural cosmetics company. A spokeswoman said Shavtiz died Sunday at his home in rural Maine. He was 80. Robert F. Bukaty/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Robert F. Bukaty/AP