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Donald Westlake: Hard-Boiled To The End

Jan 6, 2009 (Fresh Air from WHYY)

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Award-winning mystery writer Donald Westlake — the author behind bungling burglar John Dortmunder and the dark-souled gun-for-hire Parker — died from a heart attack on Dec. 31 at the age of 75.

Westlake, who also wrote under the pseudonyms Richard Stark, Tucker Coe, Samuel Holt and Edwin West, produced more than 100 novels and numerous screenplays — including the Academy Award-nominated screenplay for The Grifters.

He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, and was named Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America in 1993. A new Westlake novel, titled Get Real, is due in April 2009.

Fresh Air remembers Westlake with interviews from 1988 and 1997.

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