Awful News: Donald Westlake Has Died

I have just received word that Donald Westlake died on December 31st, 2008, of a heart attack. He was 75.

This is a bit overwhelming. When someone has been around for your entire life, it is natural (for me, anyway) to just assume he will always be there.  This was a punch in the gut.

I never spoke to Donald Westlake, but we did exchange a letter and a couple of e-mails. I have lost the letter he sent to me, something that has bothered me since I realized it was gone. Fortunately, e-mail isn’t bound by the physical, so I still have those. From every indication in the handful of exchanges we had, he was an absolute gentleman. (He discovered that there was a second film version of Jimmy the Kid through this site!)

There will be many obituaries and tributes written in the coming weeks. I will try to link to the best of them.

With somewhere near one hundred books published, it is stating the obvious to say that Donald Westlake loved writing. His entire life was a gift to those of us who love reading.

Farewell, Grandmaster.


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