RARA-AVIS: That other MacDonald bio

pabergin (pabergin@gte.net)
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 14:08:17 -0500 <<I've never stumbled across any biographical works (as opposed to the
several fine critical works out there) on John D. MacDonald. Have there
been any?>>

In 1980, Walter & Jean Shine published "A Bibliography of the Published
Works of John D. MacDonald with Selected Biographical Materials and Critical
Essays." It's not nearly as stuffy as the title makes it sound. Despite
having been completed six years before John D's death and being, therefore,
incomplete, it remains the definitive JDM bibliography and the biographical
section, while brief, is extremely valuable, not least for having been
written by someone who knew John D. intimately. (John D dedicated "The
Lonely Silver Rain" to the Shines and frequently consulted Walter Shine for
details on his work which he had forgotten.)

At the time of Walter Shine's death, he had been working for some years on a
finalized version of this work, which included what he told me was a radical
expansion of the biographical section. He had completed it, and was looking
for a publisher when he died. (He didn't think that the U of F Libraries,
which published the original work and a couple subsequent works, made enough
of an effort to publicize the books in the mainstream book market, which was
undoubtedly true.)

I don't know what's happened to the final version of this book.

Two other titles the Shines produced on JDM are "Rave & Rage: The Critics
and John D. MacDonald," which is kind of weird, but a lot of fun, and "A
MacDonald Potpourri," which is without question the most valuable reference
work for collectors of the books of JDM ever produced. Both are -- or were,
the last I checked -- available from the University of Florida Libraries in
Gainesville. I don't have the full address handy, but I'm sure Directory
Assistance could help interested parties. They are priced very, very
reasonably, by the way.

If anyone out there knows the fate of the finalized bibliography/biography,
please let me know.
Paul Bergin

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