Friday, September 19, 2008

James Crumley

As Jeff Pierce (and others) have reported, James Crumley passed away recently.

In an earlier post, I described what a great fan I was of Crumley's, showed off my collection of Crumley first editions, and expressed how pleased I was that he had given me a blurb for my last novel, Runoff.

When I read of his death, I went back to look at our e-mail exchange about the blurb. Here's his response after I wrote to ask him:
Mark --

I'll be happy to take a look at your new book as long as you understand that I've lost a couple of steps -- plus gained shaky eyes and bad hands-- so I can't promise I can get to it.

Good luck,

And the e-mail where he gave me the blurb itself:
Mark --

Hope this works for you:

RUNNOFF by Mark Coggins is a smart, funny, spooky; and sometimes violent, often touching, always entertaining romp through the new Political Correct version of San Francisco's highways, byways, and alleys of corruption. (Hammett eat your hat and laugh.) It's great fun and a must read.

Mark, of course you can use anything I've said in anyway you please. Good luck with the book, man, and thanks for the fun.

James Crumley
I don't know if my book was the last one for which he wrote a blurb, but I do know that it was a very generous act given the state of his health.

I used to say he was my favorite living writer. Now I'll just say he's a damn great one and I'm sorry he didn't write more books.

(Photo by Bill Wittliff / Texas State University-San Marcos via LA Times.)


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