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June 29, 2004



I'd never heard of Gordon, but I'm a baseball nut and went right to Amazon, only to find that none of her books are in print. Then on to my library website, where I found four of the five. I'll have to get right on them. But finding out you're a baseball junkie gives me an opportunity to recommend my favorite baseball novel (in fact, my favorite novel about any sport) ever, Robert Coover's "The Universal Baseball Association; J. Henry Waugh, Prop.". Originally published in 1968, it has remained constantly in print in the US, but I don't know about Canada. Anyway, it's absolutely wonderful, a must for any baseball junkie. I think it's considerably better than the more widely known baseball novels by Bernard Malamud and Mark Harris.

Lee Goldberg

There are a lot of reasons promising authors have disappeared... but I would guess most of the disapearances weren't voluntary. Many midlist authors have seen their contracts dropped in recent years... and with them, their popular series characters. One such author, Gar Haywood, has re-emerged as "Ray Shannon." Ray, er, Gar told me, perhaps in jest, that the only way he could get new Aaron Gunner or Loudermilk novels published now is if "Ray Shannon" authored them!

One of the many reasons I write the DIAGNOSIS MURDER novels now is so the sales figures attached to my name in the B&N and Borders computers eclipse the unimpressive sales of my "Charlie Willis" novels (MY GUN HAS BULLETS, BEYOND THE BEYOND).


Lee, I definitely agree with you about most of those "disappearances" being involuntary. And I wish I could be optimistic that the practice will stop in the future, but if anything, it'll take fewer books for a publisher to decide a writer's career's not worth the investment anymore. Some of the stories are fairly typical (poor sales/gets dropped) and others more like a horror show. But ultimately, I just want to know that these folks are still out there, and that their work hasn't been totally forgotten...at least by me.

Alison Gordon

Eek, what a shock! I was directed to your site by a reader just recently. I feel as if I'm reading my own obituary.

But reall, I haven't disappeared. I am simply living happily ever after.

The series was curtailed because I felt I had gone as far as I could go with Kate, not because of lack of interest by my publisher. (On the contrary, as a matter of fact.)

Ocassionally, a bunch of my Presbyterian ancesters show up in the middle of the night to inform me, in heavy Scots accents, that I am wasting my God-given talent. So far, I have managed to drive them off.

Will I write another book? Possibly.


Alison Gordon

PS For the baseball fans, let me recommend one of my favourite baseball novels, which has not received the recognition it deserves. The Greatest Slump of All Time, by David Carkeet, ranks among the best -- among which I certainly include The Universal Baseball Association (etc). Don't know how available it is, but it is a real gem.

judith dalgleish

Dear Ms. Gordon:

Just found your books in my collection of favourites - "never to be thrown out but to be re-read in the future". I haven't seen them for about five years so I sat down and re-read them all straight through - such a delight. As baseball books they are wonderful - but I love them as mystery novels - a very singular style of humour. I do hope there is another in the works.. Have you retired? Please advise me if your have published a book since "Prairie Hardball".

Richard Jolliffe

Hey Alison...lemme see...Dobbs Ferry......Charlie in the jazz band....your CFRC show I took over.....Queen's...Remember me?

Timothy Hallinan

Happy to say that Gar Haywood is back with a vengeance (and a starred PW review) with CEMETERY ROAD, out just this week. He took the long way around, via a British publisher who put out a US edition, and I hope he gets to rub various noses in whatever substance comes to hand. He's a tremendous writer and a great guy, not that the two necessarily go together.

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