Before the age of thirty, after just three novels and a collection of short stories, the New Yorker was already describing Calder Willingham (1922-1995) as having “fathered modern black comedy”, his signature a dry, straight-faced humor, made funnier by its concealed comic intent. His work matured over six more novels, including his best, Eternal Fire (1963), which Newsweek said “deserves a place among the dozen or so novels that must be mentioned if one is to speak of greatness in American fiction” (Jack Kroll, Newsweek). He had a significant career in cinema, too, as a frequent collaborator of Stanley Kubrick, as well as writing The Graduate and other notable films.
Born and …
Mendel, Barry. "Calder Willingham". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 January 2008
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