Re: RARA-AVIS: HILL GIRL and Williams's death

From: Pierre-Paul Durastanti (
Date: 12 Apr 2004

Michael Robison:

> A common rumor had it that he took his boat out into
> the ocean and jumped in and swam away, but a French
> web site (the French had a real appreciation for
> Williams) said that was what was written on a suicide
> note to his publisher, but that he actually killed
> himself in his apartment.

Claude Mesplede's huge DICTIONNAIRE DES LITTERATURES POLICIERES says that he committed suicide in his Los Angeles apartement during a bout of acute depression brought on by financial difficulties, leaving a note to his daughter, with a check for the cost of cremating his body.

Yes, we French have something for Williams. At least five of his books have been reprinted from the Serie Noire in the last two years. Publishing house Rivages had brought out a few of his never-before-translated novels in the
'90s, including HILL GIRL, as it happens.

I read TALK OF THE TOWN a couple months ago, and liked it a lot. Near the top of my to-read bookpile are DEAD CALM and BIG CITY GIRL.

-- Pierre-Paul

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