Campus Tramp
Title Campus Tramp PDF eBook
Author Lawrence Block
Publisher Lawrence Block
Pages
Release 2018-09-07
Genre Fiction
ISBN 9781386662914

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There's a song they used to sing at Antioch College, and it went something like this: "She was just a little freshman Victim of Admission's whim Then she met an upperclassman—we won't name him— And she had a child by him. "Now he's off in New York City Rescued by the co-op plan While she walks the streets of Yellow Springs, Ohio, Looking for another man." Ah, they don't write 'em like that anymore, and it's not hard to see why. And the sad story recounted in the song is not entirely unlike that of Linda Shepard, titular (so to speak) heroine of CAMPUS TRAMP. The story of the book may be more interesting than the story told in the book. I wrote it in July of 1959, at the Hotel Rio on West 47th Street in New York. I'd just arrived from, yes, Yellow Springs, having spent a year writing books for Harry Shorten, editing the college newspaper, and giving short shrift to my academic studies. (This was my third year at Antioch. I was there for two years, took a year off to work at a literary agency, and then came back, only to discover that, having seen Paree, you couldn't keep me down on the farm. I tried to drop out during the first semester, got manipulated into staying by my parents, and somehow finished the year. Now I was in New York, where I was to spend the summer writing, before returning for what was supposed to be my last year of school.) Well. My agent came up with an assignment. William Hamling, publisher of science fiction and Rogue Magazine, had decided to initiate a line of erotic novels similar to what I'd been writing for Midwood. Could I write one? I could and did, and thought it might be amusing to use Antioch as a setting, and to choose the characters' surnames from the buildings and dormitory units on the Antioch campus. I picked the title CAMPUS TRAMP and sent it off, and they liked it well enough in Hamlingville (that would be Evanston, Illinois, IIRC) to ask for more. Not long after I'd finished the book, I got a letter from Yellow Springs. The Student Personnel Committee, having taken a long look at my academic performance, advised me of their decision that I might be happier elsewhere. I thought this was very perceptive of them, that I would indeed be happier almost anywhere else, and the passive-aggressive lout I was at the time found this an ideal resolution to a situation I seemed incapable of resolving on my own. Their letter had left the door slightly ajar, if not wide open; I sensed I could talk my way back in, but why? Then CAMPUS TRAMP came out, and a copy or two made it all the way to Yellow Springs, and a legend sprang up. I'd written the book as payback, it was said, a way to revenge myself upon the school that had expelled me. Now when I'd written CAMPUS TRAMP I'd still thought I was to return in the fall. And I was if anything profoundly grateful to the school for having cut the umbilical cord and sent me out into the world. No end of people knew better, even as they were sure they knew who the models were for the various characters—but that happens all the time. But never mind. One recalls the newspaperman's line from THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE: "When the legend becomes fact, print the legend!" For years I wondered who painted the cover, and recently learned it was one Harold W. McCauley. If he himself wasn't familiar with the college, he must have had coaching; that's a remarkably accurate representation of Antioch's Main Building, towers and all. Copies of the book commanded high prices at Antioch Senior Sales over the years, I've been assured, and Christian Feuerstein used to perform inspired readings of the text at what I can but assume were memorable occasions. I just wish someone had thought to hire her to do the audiobook.



Community of Women
Title Community of Women PDF eBook
Author Lawrence Block
Publisher Lawrence Block
Pages
Release 2018-09-14
Genre Fiction
ISBN 9781386493297

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Sheldon Lord began his career with CARLA (#5 in the Collection of Classic Erotica),published by Harry Shorten's Midwood Books in 1958. Just about a year later he wrote CAMPUS TRAMP (CCL #7) for William Hamling's Nightstand Books, for whom he'd morphed into Andrew Shaw. And young Mr. Lord's first book for yet a third publisher, Beacon, was APRIL NORTH (CCL #4). Each publisher wanted more from the guy. Beacon's request was remarkably specific. They had a title in mind—COMMUNITY OF WOMEN—and a theme. Their notion was that no end of interesting and attractive couples lived in the suburbs, and five mornings a week virtually all of the husbands rode into Manhattan on the train, while their wives remained to do presumably wifely things at home. So during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, all of these wives constituted a…Community of Women. Which would make it a hotbed of, um, hot stuff. Well, it was an okay premise. I remember the occasion when it was delivered to me. I was in Buffalo, my ancestral home, on a brief visit. My agent called and recounted what Beacon had asked for. (That agent believed in keeping writers and publishers far apart. I did meet Harry Shorten once, at Harry's insistence, but never had any direct contact with anyone at Nightstand or Beacon.) "They need this as soon as possible," he added. I fell for this, of course. I always did. About a year earlier the same agent told me that Monarch Books had an unfinished novel, the first chapters and outline of which had been written by William Ard, who'd died at what even then seemed like an impossibly young age. So my job was to complete the book, which would put a few dollars in my pocket and a few more in the near-empty purse of Ard's widow. "And they need it right away…" Well, the hell they did. But I bought the notion, moved into a hotel on the corner of Broadway and 69th. I went there every morning and went home every night, and i finished that awful book. Are might have made something of it, he was a pretty good writer, but all I can say for myself is the book got written, and published. And it's not as though Monarch was holding the press for it. They published it whenever they got around to it. Same with Beacon and COMMUNITY OF WOMEN. Nobody there was holding his breath. But I believed what I was told, so I wrote it right there, sitting at a card table in the front room of my mother's house on Starin Avenue. I didn't know much about life in the suburbs, or about people who went to an office every morning and came home every night, but it wasn't hard to come up with characters and find ways for them to interact with one another. If I recall correctly (and how often does that happen?) it took me four or five days. I guess Beacon liked it well enough. They wanted more, and published several more of Sheldon Lord's efforts. And then, when they wanted still more and I had neither time nor inclination to write them, my agent suggested we find writers to ghost the books under Sheldon Lord's name; I'd receive a fee off the top for my involvement, with the balance to go to the actual writers. Consequently there are more than a few Sheldon Lord titles—specifically most of the ones for Beacon—which I neither wrote nor read. And so I've spared you a summary of COMMUNITY OF WOMEN, and gotten off the hook instead by taking this little trip down Memory Lane. It is, after all, one of my favorite thoroughfares, not without potholes and sharp turns, and sometimes confused with the Boulevard of Broken Dreams… This ebook edition of COMMUNITY OF WOMEN includes as a bonus the opening chapter of the next volume in the Collection of Classic Erotica, BORN TO BE BAD.



A Strange Kind of Love
Title A Strange Kind of Love PDF eBook
Author Lawrence Block
Publisher Lawrence Block
Pages
Release 2018-09-06
Genre Fiction
ISBN 9781386753391

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I'd no sooner finished CARLA, my first book for Midwood Tower, than Harry Shorten asked for another. I'd just returned to Antioch College, where after two years as an undistinguished student I'd dropped out for a year to hang on to a summer job at Scott Meredith's literary agency and bucket shop. It was wonderful training, but after a year there I decided I should go back to school, where I had a chance to assume the editorship of the school newspaper. So there I was in Yellow Springs, Ohio, taking a batch of English courses, and I had a publisher who wanted me to write a book. What'll it be, Larry—a paper on Tobias Smollett and the Great Chain of Being, or 50,000 words of soul-searching and sex for Harry Shorten? 50,000 words for which I'd be paid $600? No contest, really. The story concern a has-been writer trying to get back in the game, and all these years later I find it interesting that this young wannabe was already picturing himself on the way down and out. A fellow named Craig said some nice things in his review, so I'll excerpt it here: "The protagonist Dan Larkin is an aspiring author, like Block himself, and it's downright eerie how many aspects of Dan's fictional life would end up paralleling the arc of Block's own life over the next 25 years: the progression from obscure pulp writer to eventual best-seller stardom, the women, the binge drinking, and the eventual spiral into alcoholism. . . "There are flashes of some really good writing. The narrator's voice resembles shades of Matt Scudde at times. There is a very funny chapter detailing a ten-day drinking binge that presages passages in After the First Death and When the Sacred Gin Mill Closes. There's a memorable scene of frank and unexpected violence during an encounter with an older woman. Above all, the author's young-eyed enthusiasm for the publishing industry and the life of being a professional writer shines through despite an affected veneer of world-weariness." My guess is that some of the writing stuff is interesting. Interesting, too, is the title—which was not my idea, in case you were wondering. I have no idea what title I hung on it, but Harry or one of his elves went for A STRANGE KIND OF LOVE. Meanwhile, my very first novel, a sensitive lesbian coming-of-age effort which I'd called SHADOWS, was in the process of being accepted over at Fawcett Books for their Crest imprint. (They were the first publisher to see it, and in fact had it in hand before I wrote the opening sentence of CARLA, but Harry could commission two books and publish them both in less time than Fawcett could read a manuscript and reach a decision.) And when they did say yes to it, and when I'd revised it to their satisfaction, they changed my pen name (from Rhoda Moore to Lesley Evans, for reasons no one ever explained) and my title from SHADOWS to STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF LOVE. A STRANGE KIND OF LOVE and STRANGE ARE THE WAYS OF LOVE? Really? I don't think I've ever used the word "strange" in a title since, and doubt I ever shall. Unless, of course, I were to write a politically incorrect novel of a young gay man's coming out, but I don't think so. Besides, STRANGE FRUIT only works if you can get Billie Holiday to sing it. The cover is by Rudy Nappi (1923-2015), who was for 20 years the principal cover artist for the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew mysteries. The rumor that his cover for A STRANGE KIND OF LOVE was adapted from a rejected Nancy Drew cover strikes me, I have to say, as fanciful. But what do I know? This ebook of A STRANGE KIND OF LOVE includes as a bonus the opening chapter of Book #7 in the Collection of Classic Erotica, CAMPUS TRAMP.



Community of Women
Title Community of Women PDF eBook
Author Lawrence Block
Publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Pages 168
Release 2016-06-08
Genre
ISBN 9781533699046

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Sheldon Lord began his career with CARLA (#5 in the Collection of Classic Erotica), published by Harry Shorten's Midwood Books in 1958. Just about a year later he wrote CAMPUS TRAMP (CCL #7) for William Hamling's Nightstand Books, for whom he'd morphed into Andrew Shaw. And young Mr. Lord's first book for yet a third publisher, Beacon, was APRIL NORTH (CCL #4). Each publisher wanted more from the guy. Beacon's request for a second book was remarkably specific. They had a title in mind-COMMUNITY OF WOMEN-and a theme. Their notion was that no end of interesting and attractive couples lived in the suburbs, and five mornings a week virtually all of the husbands rode into Manhattan on the train, while their wives remained to do presumably wifely things at home. So during daytime hours, Monday through Friday, all of these wives constituted a...Community of Women. Which would make it a hotbed of, um, hot stuff. Duh. Well, it was an okay premise. I remember the occasion when it was delivered to me. I was in Buffalo, my ancestral home, on a brief visit. My agent called and recounted what Beacon had asked for. (That agent believed in keeping writers and publishers far apart. I did meet Harry Shorten once, at Harry's insistence, but never had any direct contact with anyone at Nightstand or Beacon.) "They need this as soon as possible," he added. I fell for this, of course. I always did. About a year earlier I was living on West 69th Street when the same agent told me that Monarch Books had an unfinished novel, the first chapters and outline of which had been written by William Ard, who'd died at what even then seemed like an impossibly young age. (Looking back, I can't avoid the thought that the one thing poor Bill Ard got out of his early death was that he didn't have to finish that goddam book.) So my job was to complete the book, which would put a few dollars in my pocket and a few more in the near-empty purse of Ard's widow. "And they need it right away..." Well, the hell they did. But I bought the notion, moved into a hotel on the corner of Broadway and 69th. I went there every morning and went home every night, and i finished that awful book. Are might have made something of it, he was a pretty good writer, but all I can say for myself is the book got written, and published. And it's not as though Monarch was holding the press for it. They published it whenever they got around to it. Same with Beacon and COMMUNITY OF WOMEN. Nobody there was holding his breath. But I believed what I was told, so I wrote it right there, sitting at a card table in the front room of my mother's house on Starin Avenue. I didn't know much about life in the suburbs, or about people who went to an office every morning and came home every night, but it wasn't hard to come up with characters and find ways for them to interact with one another. If I recall correctly (and how often does that happen?) it took me four or five days. I guess Beacon liked it well enough. They wanted more, and published several more of Sheldon Lord's efforts. And then, when they wanted still more and I had neither time nor inclination to write them, my agent suggested we find writers to ghost the books under Sheldon Lord's name; I'd receive a fee off the top for my involvement, with the balance to go to the actual writers. Consequently there are more than a few Sheldon Lord titles-specifically most of the ones for Beacon-which I neither wrote nor read. And so I've spared you a summary of COMMUNITY OF WOMEN, and gotten off the hook instead by taking this little trip down Memory Lane. It is, after all, one of my favorite thoroughfares, not without potholes and sharp turns, and sometimes confused with the Boulevard of Broken Dreams...



Chicago Tribune Index
Title Chicago Tribune Index PDF eBook
Author
Publisher
Pages 1818
Release 1992
Genre Chicago (Ill.)
ISBN

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Forthcoming Books
Title Forthcoming Books PDF eBook
Author Rose Arny
Publisher
Pages 1384
Release 2000-06
Genre American literature
ISBN

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The Nation
Title The Nation PDF eBook
Author
Publisher
Pages 610
Release 1959-07
Genre Current events
ISBN

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