Re: RARA-AVIS: Shitbird

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 16 May 2002

Charlie Williams wrote:

"Recently there was some discussion on the origins of "shitbird". I was re-reading The Killer Inside Me yesterday when I chanced on this passage, Lou Ford telling Dr. John Smith how it is . . ."

The first time I met James Ellroy (he stood around and talked to five or six of us for about an hour after a screening of the documentary about him), I mentioned he must have really liked The Killer Inside Me, having based the sheriff in Silent Terror on Lou Ford. Ellroy claimed he had never read Killer. I doubted his statement then (especially since how many mysteries he read during his speed days is so core to his self-myth) and even more so now.

Ironically (or not), in the very same conversation, Ellroy railed against Walter Mosley, claiming Red Death was based on his own book, Big Nowhere (is that the one with the commie stuff?).


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