Westlake nonfiction anthology The Getaway Car, table of contents revealed


NB: A version of this post also appears at Existential Ennui.

With Trent currently otherwise engaged—literally—it falls to me to provide an update on the Donald E. Westlake non-fiction anthology Trent and I blogged about back in April of last year. Edited by University of Chicago Press’ Levi Stahl, and due for publication by UCP in September, the anthology has now gained both a title and a sub-title: The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany. The full table of contents is available to view on the UCP site, but Levi has kindly agreed for it to be reproduced on The Violent World of Parker and Existential Ennui:



Foreword by Lawrence Block

Editor’s Introduction


1 My Second Life: Fragments from an Autobiography


2 Donald E. Westlake, a.k.a. . . .

Hearing Voices in My Head: Tucker Coe, Timothy J. Culver, Richard Stark and Donald E. Westlake

Living with a Mystery Writer, by Abby Adams

Writers on Writing: A Pseudonym Returns From an Alter-Ego Trip, With New Tales to Tell


3 So Tell Me about This Job We’re Gonna Pull: On Genre

The Hardboiled Dicks

Introduction to Murderous Schemes

Introduction to The Best American Mystery Stories, 2000

Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You


4 Ten Most Wanted: Ten Favorite Mystery Books


5 Returning to the Scene of the Crime: On His Own Work

Introduction to Levine

Tangled Webs for Sale: Best Offer

Introduction to Kahawa



Letter to Howard B. Gotlieb, Boston University Libraries


6 Lunch Break: May’s Famous Tuna Casserole


7 The Other Guys in the String: Peers, Favorites, and Influences

Lawrence Block: First Sighting

On Peter Rabe

Playing Politics with a Master of Dialogue: On George V. Higgins

On Rex Stout

Introduction to Jack Ritchie’s A New Leaf and Other Stories

Foreword to Thurber on Crime

Introduction to Charles Willeford’s The Way We Die Now

On Stephen Frears

John D. MacDonald: A Remembrance


8 Coffee Break: Letter to Ray Broekel


9 Anything You Say May Be Used against You: Interviews

An Inside Look at Donald Westlake, by Albert Nussbaum, 81332-132

The Worst Happens: From an Interview by Patrick McGilligan


10 Midnight Snack: Gustatory Notes from All Over


11 Side Jobs: Prison Breaks, Movie Mobsters, and Radio Comedy


Love Stuff, Cops-and-Robbers Style

Send In the Goons


12 Signed Confessions: Letters

To Judy ?

To Peter Gruber

To James Hale

To Stephen and Tabitha King

To Brian Garfield

To David Ramus

To Pam Vesey

To Gary Salt

To Henry Morrison

To Jon L. Breen


13 Jobs Never Pulled: Title Ideas

Crime Titles

Comic Crime Titles


14 Death Row (Or, The Happily Ever Afterlife): Letter to Ralph L. Woods




Name Index


I must say it all looks fascinating: I’ve read (and written about) Westlake essays like “Don’t Call Us, We’ll Call You,” “Peter Rabe,” and “Break-Out” before, but there are plenty more besides I haven’t read; I’m especially keen to take a look at the autobiography fragments and the personal letters Levi (and his glamorous assistant Ethan Iverson) dug out of Westlake’s files. I’m also intrigued to read Levi’s introduction and Lawrence Block’s foreword, a single sentence from the latter of which is previewed at the UCP site, along with a quote from Hard Case Crime’s Charles Ardai and some more info about the book. Go take a gander.