Archive of correspondence from the author

N.p. N.p., 1953-1986. A collection of 4 autograph letters signed by Kenneth Millar (a.k.a. Ross Macdonald), quite strong in content, addressing a wide range of topics. Also included is a very humorous response to a "Celebrity Questionnaire." Ranging from 1955, the letters typically detailed, lengthy, and thoughtful.

Among the topics addressed in the letters are: an effusive recommendation for fellow author Dennis Lynds (a.k.a. Michael Collins) for a Guggenheim fellowship, the deal for the 1973 film version of "The Drowning Pool" ("judged by the principals involved, it looks very promising"), his reading (a long discussion of "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," "Tristram Shandy"), reactions to jacket artwork ("'The Goodbye Look' seems to me an improvement over that for 'The Instant Enemy'"), his excitement over seeing praise from Elizabeth Bowen, Charles Portis, and even English poet Donald Davie (who called "The Galton Case" "a great novel"), a review of his work by Ray Bradbury in the Los Angeles Times, a hilarious Celebrity Yearbook Questionnaire ("Favorite Expression: 'Do not become alarmed' / Greatest Hero: Freud").

The cornerstone of the collection is a lengthy rumination by Millar on his own standing in the pantheon of crime fiction writers. He is rueful of the fact that the Collins Crime Club editions of his novels in England put across a more "traditional" crime fiction style that leads reviewers to comparisons with Hammett and Chandler. He puts forth the idea (one that is now very much accepted by historians) that his fiction is what American critic Samuel French Morse calls "almost...a new genre." He writes: "This view of me is making great headway in this country at last," and suggests that his British publisher consider publishing "an omnibus of three or four of my best books, suitably introduced, [which might] convey a new message."

Letters are all Near Fine, some on Macdonald's stationery, some with his typed address at the top left, all dated.


[Book #124587]

Price: $7,250.00