RE: RARA-AVIS: YA Noir: Meaker

From: Todd Mason (
Date: 10 Oct 2003

You did mention the FELL books, though I think in response to Mike's query. And as we're all begging for your horn solos...please wail away.

One tendency I didn't much care for among 1970s YA novels was arguably a noirish one, but one which I considered more nihilistic (a word I learned rather late in that decade) at the time, a desire to reach for extreme downbeat incident and often ridiculous endings to rival any of the worst of MANHUNT (as opposed to that magazine's amazing best)...was it Kin Platt's HEY, DUMMY! which ends with the protagonist utterly unbelievably
"regressing" into a sort of retardation after trying to help another challenged child? Also, it was interesting how many of the good hb writers moved into YA fiction in a big way, including Frank Bonham and William Campbell Gault, mostly in the '60s and ongoing.

Did you ever want to write short fiction much in the '50s? I understand MANHUNT was largely closed to non-Scott Meredith Literary Agency writers, but did the independence to be had from Gold Medal allow you to indulge in less remunerative work in short form, along with the research and historical nonfiction you were doing? TM

-----Original Message----- From: Marijane Meaker [mailto:]

Todd, did I tell you (I thought I did but I never know what goes through) that I wrote a series called The Fell Books, three novels that might be considered YA noir. Then there's my What Became of Her....Sorry to toot my own horn.

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