Re: RARA-AVIS: River, 19th century Washington, etc.

From: William Denton (
Date: 20 Dec 2001

On 19 December 2001, George Pelecanos wrote:

: I began to work him forward into the succeeding novels (two, three and
: four in the D.C. Quartet) with cameos as a teenager in KING SUCKERMAN
: (1997, set in 1976) and as a young man in THE SWEET FOREVER (1998, set
: in 1986).

How much of Stefanos's life and history did you have in mind when you started writing about him, and when did the rest fall into place? In DOWN BY THE RIVER (1995) he sees his Uncle Costa, who tells him about the shootout in Big Nick's cafe that we read about in THE BIG BLOWDOWN (1996). In NICK'S TRIP, I think it is, he tells about the time he and his friend went on a road trip in 1976, and that's where we leave him in KING SUCKERMAN. You've got early books that flash back to events described in later books and later books that draw on the earlier books. I'd love to hear how much you knew about Stefanos (I know you've said he's an autobiographical character) when you started writing and how much of his life, and how it ties in to everything else, came as you wrote.


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : : Caveat lector.

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