Wednesday, November 29, 2006

William Diehl

My daily dose of reality from Shelf Awareness. Spare not the details:

"William Diehl, who wrote such thrillers as Sharky's Machine, Primal Fear, Thai Horse and Eureka, died on Friday in Atlanta, Ga., of an aortal aneurysm. He was 81."

The NYTimes reports: "Mr. Diehl was unemployed when he got the news that [his first] book was going to be published...When his agent first called to tell him, the phone line went dead: Mr. Diehl hadn’t paid the bill"


At 4:57 PM, Blogger Blogaulaire said...

Diehl not paying the phone bill (besides reminding me to pay mine) flashes so many parallel images about writers I could do a stream of consciousness text on an endless paper roll a la Kerouac's famous MS (not that it would 'go' at an auction for 1 M anytime, ever.

To connect but one dot here. In Thurber's memoir of life at the New Yorker, My Years with Ross, he relates that the editors were under instruction to cut any jocular references local Village essayists made to not paying bills.

Ditto any autobiographic bits about coming home and finding the landlord had changed the lock and all your belongings were on the sidewalk.

Even the NY Times playing the Diehl scene as a surprise smacks of marginalizing an all to frequent scenario in the life of writers.

I won't go into the Canadian playwright I know who won a prestige award; only to say that he had a most creative way to shoplift a pack of 54 Pampers at the local pharmacy. I caught the act in the corner of my eye.

Nice post. Thanks.


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