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Trevanian News

Read about Trevanian's unpublished Bohemian epic Street of the Four Winds

Announcing Trevanian's latest novel
The Crazyladies of Pearl Street
out now

Crown publishers is also re-issuing the first five of Trevanian's earlier novels in their
Summer of Trevanian

Trevanian's Books


After exploding onto bestseller lists in the early 1970s with two revisionist espionage thrillers, The Eiger Sanction (1972) and The Loo Sanction (1973), Trevanian followed with The Main (1976, a roman policier), Shibumi (1979 his meta-spy novel), and The Summer of Katya (1983, a psychological horror novel) widely divergent books that solidified the myth that "Trevanian" was actually a group of writers, working under a collective pen-name. After a 15-year absence from domestic publishing, Trevanian reappeared as the author of a Western, Incident at Twenty-Mile (1998) and a collection of short stories, Hot Night in the City (2000). This year (2005) he has taken another surprising direction with a boy's coming of age story set in the slums of Albany, New York in the years preceding and during World War ll, The Crazyladies of Pearl Street.

He also wrote a mediaeval tale of love and courage and a bawdy re-telling of Arthurian tales, both under the name Nicolas Seare, 1339 or So: Being an Apology for a Pedlar (1975) and Rude Tales and Glorious (1983)

In Trevanian's own words

"Right from the first I wrote, not for the aesthete, the academic or the intellectual, but for the bright and sensitive person from any walk of life. It has been my job and my pleasure to take the topics, the social and political concerns, and the emotional evocations we associate with higher literature and express them in the idioms and techniques of what we call genre literature: forward-thrusting story, sharp character, crisp dialogue, and an inevitable engine of narrative. (You recognize that your narrative machine is running when moments in the story stop being attached by the word 'and' and begin to be attached by 'then', and the machine is in top gear when they are linked by 'therefore'.) These story elements render the concerns of the pure novel both palatable and easy to assimilate.

I could have made more money if I'd stuck to one genre as most successful writers do. Most readers use books as an escape, and they pretty soon discover their genre-drug of preference. If they find a writer who works well for them, they read his other things, confident that he'll satisfy the itch, and so each time a writer sells a new book, he also sells three or four of his older books. So, sticking to the same genre makes sense financially, but I would be bored by writing the same kind of book again and again. I am as concerned with my book being an excellent example of its genre as I am with the social, philosophical and political messages it carries -- but if I had to choose, I'd save the story elements. I try to drench each novel with enough story and action and crisp dialogue to keep people from throwing the book against the wall when I start to preach at them.

It was more interesting for me to change genres, but it was difficult for my readers to follow me from, say, spy thriller to Edwardian romance, and understandably, some dropped out. However, a gratifyingly large number of readers have followed Trevanian throughout his career. Trevanian fans are an interesting bunch, not genre addicts, obviously, and appreciative of elements of careful craftsmanship and solid story-telling."

   

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