RE: RARA-AVIS: Re: Westlake's Memory

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 16 Apr 2010

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    Oh, one other question: I guess this means there were no just-finished works left behind when he died? Not that he didn't leave a huge catalog behind to read and reread. Mark

    > To:
    > From:
    > Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2010 09:22:48 +0000
    > Subject: RARA-AVIS: Re: Westlake's Memory
    > Sorry for any confusion, guys. As I have made clear in all the various
    > interviews I've given about the book (and Lawrence Block has made clear
    > in all the interviews he's given and pieces he's written on the
    > subject), Donald Westlake wrote MEMORY in the early 1960s. He gave it
    > to his agent, but the agent was unable to sell it, possibly because it
    > was twice the length of Don's other books at the time, possibly because
    > it was a dark and sensitive philosophical/literary/mainstream novel
    > rather than a punchy commercial crime novel, possibly because that agent
    > just didn't have contacts among editors outside the hardcore genre
    > publishers. Whatever the reason, he told Don he couldn't sell it, so
    > Don put it away in a drawer, and despite Larry's urging Don to publish
    > the book at various times over the next 40 years, Don never did.
    > It's the last unpublished Westlake novel I was aware of, which is why
    > "final unpublished novel" seemed like a reasonable description. But no,
    > it wasn't written after all his other novels. (And it may not even be
    > the last one that exists -- Max Allan Collins has since told me about
    > another manuscript he saw some years ago that he's confident never got
    > published. So there may eventually be one more.)
    > --Charles
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