Friday, October 14, 2005

Thriller’s Choice

[[B O O K S]] * In anticipation of Saturday’s public memorial to the late author Ed McBain, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at New York City’s Ethical Culture Society (2 West 64th Street), the Web-based literary journal January Magazine today rolls out a trio of tributes that look back at this author’s half-century-long influence on American fiction. In the essay “Coming of Age With Ed McBain,” short-story writer Wayne Allen Sallee remembers how his 1991 exchange with the creator of the 87th Precinct police procedural series began a long-distance mentorship that is finally leading Sallee, who must work around his cerebral palsy, to complete his second crime novel. In “Privileged Conversation,” Anthony Rainone offers up a previously unpublished interview he conducted with McBain, shortly after the novel Fat Ollie’s Book was released. Finally, I pitch in my own two cents on the prolific author’s life and works in an introduction titled “The Double Man.” If you aren’t familiar with the books by Ed McBain (aka Evan Hunter), use the occasion of this memorial--which is being held on what would have been the novelist’s 79th birthday--as an excuse to remedy that ignorance.

FOLLOW-UP: Crime-fiction critic Sarah Weinman was on hand for McBain’s Manhattan memorial and offers a fine, emotional assessment of the event in her blog, Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind.

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