Library of Little Masterpieces 36 Autobiography
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It's a lot to deal with. But it's all turned out better than you could have hoped for. She assured me that there weren't going to be any big changes, that nobody's going to lose anything. She had her first conversation with Brad MacMath in 32 years. We had fun noticing the mannerisms we have in common.
We walk the same, have the same dimples, the same little knobs on our shoulders--surfer knobs. So yesterday he phoned me up out of the blue, because I'm the only photographer he knew, and he said, 'Have you heard of this Brad MacMath guy? Kilauren's biological parents were both art students in Calgary when she was conceived. They moved to Toronto during the pregnancy and discussed settling down. But we were not communicating. That was the last straw.
You have no idea what the stigma was. It was like you murdered somebody. I'm sure we would have encouraged her to keep the baby, but we didn't know anything about it until several years later when she and Chuck separated and she was home and told us about it. Complications, she adds, kept her in the hospital for 10 days with her child. During the early years after the adoption, Mitchell told the Times , she "worried constantly" about the child's health because her pregnancy diet had been "atrocious.
There was no career on the horizon. Three years later, I had a recording contract and a house and a car, but how could I see that in the future? Another cut, Chelsea Morning , would later inspire Bill and Hillary Clinton in naming their daughter. The same year, she recorded Blue , an intimate excursion into loneliness and loss, which many consider her masterpiece. Although Mitchell kept her secret from her parents for several years, and from the media for almost three decades, those close to her knew. We went over and talked to the girl, who must have been 4 or 5, and afterwards Joni turned to me and said: 'That could be my daughter.
She was obviously suffering tremendously. But while promoting her album Turbulent Indigo , she fielded questions about a tabloid report of a "love child," and took her search public for the first time. Kilauren, meanwhile, was already looking for her mother. She says it took nearly five years for the Children's Aid Society to produce the adoption documents that she requested.
Even then, the papers offered non-identifying information, just dates and some telling biographical details. A Joni Mitchell fan could have matched the profile to the singer without much trouble. But what finally led Kilauren to identify her birth mother was a tangled thread of coincidence winding all the way back to the birth of the Sixties counterculture. The maze of events begins with Duke Redbird. Redbird moved into a Victorian rooming house on Huron Street, and Mitchell, already pregnant, moved in across the hall.
Most of the boarders were broke. I would hear her singing in that beautiful voice of hers, strumming her guitar behind the closed door of her room. Years later, she met Redbird at a concert and asked him to convey her thanks to his brother. Cut to Redbird meets Annie Mandlsohn while both are studying at York University. Gibb showed Mandlsohn the Children's Aid information describing her mother as a Saskatchewan folksinger who had moved to the United States.
Your mother is Joni Mitchell! Mandlsohn sent Gibb to Redbird. Finally, she phoned the singer's manager, whose office had been flooded with calls from would-be Joni offspring. She could not get through, but she sent off a package of information, including her birth date--and the fact that she had been named Kelly Dale. He was the definition of unique.
It is long overdue for that book to become a movie. Thanks for keeping up the website. I have been coming to this site every 6 months and was hoping to see if there was new information on any novels that your father wrote prior to his death. He was my favorite author and have read most of his novels. Thanks and keep up the good work. Hi Richard. Thanks for the encouragement and for repeatedly stopping by! Interviewed your father many times over the years.
He had, for some reason, a great feeling about Oklahoma. I absolutely LOVE the site and appreciate your work to get all the stuff collected. Hi Bud and thanks for the encouraging comment! He spent a lot of time driving around the lower 48 and his affinity for OK may be partly a result of the high speed limits! Hope you get a chance to see it. Thank you for taking it on. I have been a devoted fan of his stick since the early 60s, have done my poor best to imitate him since making my own first story sale in , and am proud to have exchanged letters with him a few times.
He wrote to me once that he considered himself a writer of grim existential tragedies of the human condition…. No other artist in any genre has ever made me laugh so much, so hard, or so consistently. The very best of luck to you with your ongoing project. Thanks so much for the visit and sharing your memories. Thanks very much for sharing. Side-splittingly funny in a not-too-condescending manner.
And the Anguillans still love it to this day. Either way, I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks again for stopping by and for being such a big fan. Thank you so much for replying to my comment, sir. I have sent you an email and hope that you enjoy what I wrote. Parker is my main guy. Nobody will ever do it as good as Westlake writing azs Stark though. I was surprised to learn he never wrote a best seller.
Keep up the good work. Very belated thank you, George. Best of luck to you! Dear Paul: Thank you for this site. Very belated thanks for the comment, Jill. I just finished a big set of updates and new story pages. Look for a post on that in the next few days. Paul — Wanted to thank you for maintaining this fine site dedicated to your Dad. He was one of my favorite authors and just a great guy, always very kind to me.
I have a couple questions, can you email me? Lynn, so sorry that I missed your comment when you posted it almost two years ago. I discovered Donald Westlake — and John Dortmunder — a couple of years ago and my life has been richer and funnier since. What a talent your dad had! He was such an elegant writer. He could tell the most complex story simply. The story would flow and dip and dive, but never lose you. You should be very proud of him! Very sorry I missed your comment when you posted it, Rick. When my sons were younger we listened to Dortmunder audiotapes in the evening.
Harry Potter and your dad got them interested in reading. Getting that first novel published though has been elusive. Had some health problems recently, but hope to return to writing. I buy many of my used books online at thriftbooks. Free shipping. Also Awsesomebooks. Tho that is really good for UK books.
Also mostly free shipping. Love Dortmunder! Believe I have all of them now. Many thanks to your father for oh so many hours of enjoyment! And a plus is I love to reread them over and over, even knowing the end! He was a true craftsman. Thank you for creating this website in honor of your father. Very belated thanks for your comment and approval. Be sure to check it out. Thank you so much for this site. I had never written a fan letter to anyone before so several years ago I tried to find an email address for your father so that I could tell him how much I enjoyed his writing.
I was very upset the last time I checked a couple of years ago that he had died before I had the chance to write him. Thanks also for updating his bibliography and especially including the Starship Hopeful series. I had read them in Playboy but could never find them again. Any chance of publishing a collection of them? Sorry I never got around to a reply.
I moved twice in the last year and a half, in addition to welcoming my now seventeen-month old daughter into the world. Time is one commodity have very little of these days. Better late than never! Congratulations on the birth of your daughter. Daughters are a prize, although generally very expensive ones. Looking forward to the Starship Hopeful collection. He just told human stories with a different backdrop.
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The premise of the Starship Hopeful series could only be set in the future but the characters and situations are timeless. Anarchaos could easily be set in the wild west or the Asian subcontinent before the British arrived. They may not have the technological fetish to dazzle the modern audience but the stories will stand the test of time.
Oh, and many thanks for the congrats on our daughter. First book of Donald Westlake I read was dancing Aztec priests. I never knew a writer could b so lol funny! I remember chasing around family members making them listen to certain scenes as I read them out loud. And then dortmunder series. Your dad was such a funny heartwarming writer. We will miss new stories from him. Thank you for making his old stories so much easier to find! And btw you are quite the handsome lad! Thank you for your generous words, Peggy! See my reply to Mark above for context. Humour and sadness.
Thank you for your wise and thoughtful observations. Loved the Dortmunder books, and just stumbled on all these other pen names and more books thru some postings on bookish. Thank you for maintaining this site. I lived in the same barracks as your Dad at Ramstein Air Base in I remember him sitting in the orderly room at night, typing stories to submit to crime magazines.
Chatted with him quite a few times. We had several units in the barracks, think he may have been in either the postal detachment or the weather detachment. I know he wrote for the Air Force in a more functionary role but not sure in what capacity. Maybe I should do more research on that. I have been reading Westlake for years and he is one of my favorite authors. My mother and I have both recently discovered the Parker books and love them.
Does anyone here know where I could find them, other than scouring used book stores? Are they currently in print? All three books are available via Amazon. Nobody Runs Forever is a bit expensive, but the other two are available very cheaply. There were several detachments in the building. He was either in the Postal detachment or the Weather Detachment, not sure which one. He would be sitting in the orderly room, on the first floor most nights using the typewriter to write stories he said he was sending to crime magazines.
Had chats with him many nights when I was on duty, as Charge of Quarters CQ for the night, to answer the phone etc. Nobody had personal phones in their rooms, and we had 2 to 3 men in each room. He often talked of his ambition to become an author. Not until many years later when browsing through the shelves at the library did I stumble across his books, seeing his picture on the cover confirmed that. I have pictures of the outside of the barracks building but none of your Dad.
They have pictures of many of the basic training flights. You can search by name and maybe find a picture of the group of guys he went through basic training with in a picture including him in uniform. Your efforts to maintain this site are sure appreciated by his fans. Thank you for recounting your experience with Don. I had the pleasure of doing theater and a few other projects with him, giving me more than the usual insight into how he worked and ticked.
But his life as a young man has always been somewhat shrouded in mystery. He was a workaholic for as long as I knew him. It seemed to me that it was probably his way all along. This is a wonderful addition to my personal portrait of my dad. Just finished watching Parker on Netflix. The ending credit mentioned in memory of Donald E. I was wondering what the connection was. It was a great movie. Parker was based on the Donald E. If you enjoy the film then pick up the Richard Stark Parker series of books. Hi Paul — fantastic site and thanks for all the hard work in keeping it up to date.
I have been a fan of your father since I first read the Dortmunder books when I was ten years old. I am now one of the partners in Santana Films, a company first put together in by Humphrey Bogart. I recently partnered with the Bogart estate to revive the company, and to focus on crime thrillers and noirs. Could you please let me know, either here or through private e-mail, who represents film rights for the estate?
Thanks so much. Thanks again for everything. Hi Steve and thanks! Always appreciate a strong female character. Your idea sounds very intriguing. Thanks for the visit and the note and hope we can put something of yours in the multimedia section someday! So I Googled the name. My wife had introduced me to the Dortmunder series.
We loved to listen to the books on tape as we traveled by car. We fell in love with the recurring characters. As shall we all! Mostly dearly beloved Dortmunder. Why did your dad waste time on Parker when Dortmunder is so superior! In spite of the misbegotten fans who praise the wrong character. Have you read all the Dortmunder short stories? It was a nice touch by the filmmakers. Had me in stitches all the way through. Not so funny but a very satisfying quasi-detective story.
For a fella who tended to write about the bad guy, you can see why he was so well appreciated by the detective story crowd. I am sorry to hear that an amazing writer has passed. I remember the first book I read by him was Bankshot at around 13 oh geez 13 years ago which got me hooked onto the Dortmunder Novels. Ever since then I have been on the search for other books by him. I especially love The Hook, it kept me captivated. His writing is one of the main reasons that inspired me to try my hand at becoming a writer myself.
The Hook is among my least favorite of his stories, probably because I think both men are assholes. And it reveals a lot about the foibles of sustaining a career as a writer. My entire family is lucky that Don was such a natural.
I dropped by your blog. Interesting reads and bold choices, especially in our world of self-flattering PR. Ever consider radio? I think so. I love short stories. If I start a book I tend to finish it before sleeping. So for many years as a working single mother I had to give up reading altogether lest I be a …..
Well I suppose you deserved an education! That list is impressive! I got my list from good ole Wiki. Are children of writers more likely to see their parents as parents than as writers? At least when young? So you started late? He was dad first and foremost for many years. Only when I was mature enough to fully appreciate his work did the magnitude of his accomplishments come into focus. He worked every business day and often on weekends and that happened behind a closed office door.
We saw the finished products when they were handed out at Christmas.
Otherwise, it was just another day at the office. I was luckier than most of my siblings in that I was able to collaborate on various projects with him when I got older. We acted in two plays community theater with multiple scenes together. I helped him write a couple book reviews and he handed me a job writing a screenplay he wanted nothing to do with but that fit my musical background. The one project all of us got to participate in at one time or another was the series of mystery weekends he staged at Mohonk Mountain House overlooking the Hudson Valley over the course of nine years.
It was a hoot. By the time I graduated high school, I had already worked with my father multiple times and had a deep respect for his creative process. I plan on reproducing the ones that are out of print here. Stay tuned! Thanks Paul. I appreciate your response and especially your willingness to sort me out with some images. Very much obliged. Looks like the long lost Mise a sac may be getting a release. A French film festival is soon to screen a print of the film with English subs.
No interest in this? My original post is badly phrased. The festival screening the film is actually being held in New York. Hopefully a DVD release is on the way. About time. On the contrary, I find it very interesting. Thank you for the heads up and sorry for the delayed reply other obligations sometimes keep me from staying in touch here.
So, for now, it seems like the screening at MoMA is the only game in town. GurlMedia is a scam site. Avoid at all costs. Stupid of me. Parker would not be impressed. Mostly wipe my eyes as I write your smart cracks leave me in fits of laughter. Who done its with a bubling set of crooks, smart cracks and lampoons. What is next an opera. Best Jack. A big fan. Read all the Dortmunder and Comic Crime novels.
Other than that minor annoyance, we have a wonderful marriage. DEW was one of a kind. Wonderful story teller with a sense of humor that causes you to mark the page so you can go back later, write it down, and start using it in your own conversation so people will think you are wittier than you really are. It says a lot when the son takes over the management of the legacy. To have that kind of relationship with his children is impressive.
Thanks for this site. All the best. Thank you for your wonderful observations. I, too, keep learning from my dad every time I read his books. I have been reading the Dortmunder novels. I really wish I had found them years ago. They are amazing. I aspire, as an author, to be as entertaining as those books are! Thanks for a fantastic website. I am hoping this changes before too long as it would be really nice to see them complete this project I personally have the other titles in different editions but want to see them in the U of Chicago Press edtions.
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