RARA-AVIS: Ross Macdonald's Influence

J. Kingston Pierce (jpwrites@sprynet.com)
Wed, 10 Mar 1999 19:14:40 -0800 I was astonished to read a recent post suggesting that Ross Macdonald was
not influential in the detective fiction field. Gimme a break.

As part of a major upcoming project for the literary Web 'zine January
(http://www.januarymagazine.com/), I've recently been soliciting opinions
from an extensive variety of modern American crime novelists--from James W.
Hall and Sue Grafton to Jeremiah Healy, Richard Barre, S.J. Rozan, and Gar
Anthony Haywood. And almost without exception, they cite Macdonald as a
principal influence, either on their own writing style or on their original
interest in the genre. As John Lutz told me, "No once since Macdonald has
written with such poetic inevitability about people, their secret cares,
their emotional scars, their sadness, cowardice, and courage. He reminded
the rest of us of what was possible in our genre."

If all this doesn't confirm Macdonald's influence, I don't know what would.

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