Gore Vidal, the American writer has died aged 86 years. A prolific writer, social and political commentator, he published his first novel titled Williwaw in 1946. Twenty-four novels followed, these included a series of American historical fiction. He was also an accomplished journalist, screenwriter and playwright, but was best known for his numerous essays. His last published fiction was a collection of short stories titled Clouds and Eclipses; this was a republication of a 1956 collection titled A Thirsty Evil, with one new story added.