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FW: RARA-AVIS: Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75 (NYT obituary)

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  • Steve Novak
    Triste nouvelle en ce début d¹année: disparition de Donald Westlake... Bonne Année à tous malgré tout... Steve Novak aka Montois Cinefrog@comcast.net ...
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 3, 2009
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      FW: RARA-AVIS: Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75  (NYT obituary) Triste nouvelle en ce début d’année: disparition de Donald Westlake...

      Bonne Année à tous malgré tout...

      Steve Novak aka Montois
      Cinefrog@...



      Donald E. Westlake, Mystery Writer, Is Dead at 75  (NYT obituary)


      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 manual
      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 Tancho,
      Mexico, said his wife, Abigail Westlake.

      Mr. Westlake, considered one of the most successful and versatile
      mystery writers in the United States, has earned three Edgar Awards,
      an Academy Award nomination for screenplay writing, and the elite
      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 and
      several pseudonyms, including Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt
      and Edwin West. Despite the diversity of names, one shared feature
      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 criminal
      named Parker.

      The full panoply of all his books was a spectacle to behold, his
      friends said. "We were in his library, this beautiful library
      surrounded by hundreds and hundreds of titles, and I realize that
      every single book was written by Donald Westlake, English language
      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, some
      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 not
      graduate from any of them. He married his current wife, Abigail, in
      1979, and the couple made their home in Gallatin, N.Y. He was
      previously married to Nedra Henderson and Sandra Kalb. He is
      survived by his wife; his four sons by his previous marriage, Sean
      Westlake, Steven Westlake, Paul Westlake, Tod Westlake; two step-
      daughters, Adrienne Adams and Katherine Adams; a step-son, Patrick
      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.

       
          


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