--- On Thu, 1/1/09, foxbrick <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> From: foxbrick <email@example.com>
> Subject: RARA-AVIS: Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75 (NYT obituary)
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> Date: Thursday, January 1, 2009, 5:09 PM
> January 2, 2009
> Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75
> By JENNIFER 8. LEE
> Donald E. Westlake, a prolific, award-winning mystery
> novelist who
> pounded out more than 100 books and five screenplays on
> typewriters during his half-century career, died Wednesday
> night. He
> was 75.
> Mr. Westlake collapsed, apparently from a heart attack, as
> he headed
> out to New Year's Eve dinner while on vacation in San
> Mexico, said his wife, Abigail Westlake.
> Mr. Westlake, considered one of the most successful and
> mystery writers in the United States, has earned three
> Edgar Awards,
> an Academy Award nomination for screenplay writing, and the
> title of Grand Master from the Mystery Writers of America
> in 1993.
> Since his first novel, "The Mercenaries," was
> published by Random
> House in 1960, Mr. Westlake has written under his own name
> several pseudonyms, including Richard Stark, Tucker Coe,
> Samuel Holt
> and Edwin West. Despite the diversity of names, one shared
> was that almost all his books were set in New York City,
> where he
> was born.
> He used many names in part to combat skepticism over his
> rapid rate
> of writing books, which at some points reached four a year.
> "In the beginning, people didn't want to publish
> more than one book
> a year by the same author," said Susan Richman, his
> publicist at
> Grand Central Publishing, his current publisher. In the
> later half
> of his career, Mr. Westlake had narrowed himself to his own
> name and
> Richard Stark, author of a dark series about a one-name
> named Parker.
> The full panoply of all his books was a spectacle to
> behold, his
> friends said. "We were in his library, this beautiful
> surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of titles, and I
> realize that
> every single book was written by Donald Westlake, English
> and foreign language editions," said Laurence
> Kirschbaum, his agent.
> Mr. Westlake's cinematic style of storytelling, along
> with his
> carefully crafted plots and crisp dialogue, translated well
> to the
> screen. More than 15 of his books were made into movies,
> multiple times. In addition, he himself wrote a number of
> screenplays, including "The Grifters," which was
> nominated for an
> Academy Award in 1991.
> Donald Edwin Westlake was born to Lillian and Albert
> Westlake on
> July 12, 1933, in Brooklyn, but raised in Yonkers and
> Albany. He
> attended a number of colleges in New York State, but did
> graduate from any of them. He married his current wife,
> Abigail, in
> 1979, and the couple made their home in Gallatin, N.Y. He
> previously married to Nedra Henderson and Sandra Kalb. He
> survived by his wife; his four sons by his previous
> marriage, Sean
> Westlake, Steven Westlake, Paul Westlake, Tod Westlake; two
> daughters, Adrienne Adams and Katherine Adams; a step-son,
> Adams; his sister, Virginia; and four grandchildren.
> He was writing all the way till he passed away. His next
> novel, "Get
> Real," is scheduled to be released in April 2009.
> RARA-AVIS home page: http://www.miskatonic.org/rara-avis/
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