Fun Facts Friday: Ross MacDonald

December 13, 2013

Ross MacDonald (13 December, 1915 – 11 July, 1983) is an American-Canadian writer which specializes in crime fiction. Most notably Mr. Macdonald is remembered for his hardboiled novels featuring PI Lew Archer.

Fun Facts Friday Ross MacDonald

Books by Ross MacDonald

  1. Ross MacDonald is a pseudonym, the author’s real name is Kenneth Millar.
  2. Macdonald is considered to be on par with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler for his hardboiled detective novels.
  3. The young Millar lived with many Canadian relatives during his most formidable years. This was due to the separation and health of his parents. In his writings, Millar stated he lived in 50 rooms by the time he was 16. A recurring theme in the author’s novels is an absent parent.
  4. Millar earned a Ph.D. in literature from the University of Michigan.
  5. In 1938 Millar toured Europe and visited Nazi Germany.
  6. The person that inspired Millar to start writing was award winner mystery and suspense author Margaret Millar – his wife!
  7. During World War II, Millar served in the US Navy as a communications officer in the Pacific aboard an escort carrier.
  8. Millar had sever pen names, first it was John Macdonald, then John Ross and finally Ross Macdonald (John D. MacDonald was another mystery writer).
  9. The family life of the Millars wasn’t ideal and Kenneth put a lot of that in his books. His 1959 novel The Galton Case shows and obsesstion with secret familial history and sins of the past. Future novels also explored those themes reportedly.
  10. Even though MacDonald’s books weren’t perceived to be as good as other writers of the genre, he was, in fact, the most critically acclaimed writer of  hardboiled ficiton of the 1950s.

Books by Ross MacDonald

Zohar – Man of la Book

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