N.p. N.p., 1956-1957. An archive of 6 autograph letters signed by Kenneth Millar (a.k.a. Ross Macdonald), 4 to book illustrator, longtime friend, and Santa Barbara neighbor Don Freeman, and 2 to an old professor and mentor from Ontario, Frank Stirling.
A fascinating and unique collection of correspondence from Millar, full of personal inquiries, casual observations, and progress reports on children and mutual friends. Important, however, is a subtext regarding the author's ongoing psychoanalysis and the effect it was having on his life and work: "Heavens, you'd think from that remark that I was being analyzed... [I am] rediscovering the country of my childhood which isn't so very different from adult country, as Salinger people like you would be the first to agree. I'd say I'm well on through into the middle of it, too, and just wrote a good book ["The Galton Case"] quite fast by way of proving it." And again, "I suppose my best personal news is that the effect of analysis (I'm approaching termination) has been to reawaken, by some of the most extraordinary experiences, my interest in writing poetry, and I've come back after twenty years not with a whimper but a bang."
The 2 letters to Frank Stirling come just before and just after a trip that reunited Millar with his old friend, respectively, and say much about the author's frustrations over trying to express himself in a literary fashion within the restrictions of the crime fiction genre.
More than 2500 words in all, with each letter signed, "Ken." An intimate set of documents revealing much about a very private man, today a legend in the pantheon of literary crime fiction.
Near Fine, onionskin stock, each letter dated with the author's address in Menlo Park.