Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Walter Mitty, John D., the Kinkster... and me.



From Paul

John D. MacDonald (right) once said that writing is like dropping feathers down a well. “Any echo is appreciated.” Today, I’m happy to share some recent reverberations.

Just heard that SOLOMON vs. LORD, my battle-of-the-sexes courtroom tale, is a semi-finalist for the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor. The prize is named for James Thurber (below right), the writer and cartoonist perhaps best known for “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Last year’s winner was Jon Stewart and his Daily Show writers for AMERICA (THE BOOK): A CITIZEN’S GUIDE TO DEMOCRACY INACTION.

The winner gets $5,000 and dinner at New York’s Algonquin Hotel, home of the famed Roundtable of quipsters and weisenheimers. I’m hoping Harold Ross, Edna Ferber, and Robert Benchley show up. And, of course, Dorothy Parker, arguably the wittiest dishmeister of all time. One of her classic put-downs: “That woman speaks 18 languages and can’t say ‘no’ in any of them.”

I do not expect to win. There are six other semi-finalists, including Kinky Friedman for TEXAS HOLD 'EM: HOW I WAS BORN IN A MANGER, DIED IN THE SADDLE, AND CAME BACK AS A HORNY TOAD. Now, how do you compete with a title like that?

I’m humbled by another echo, this one from the Fort Myers (FL) News-Press, which just published its all-time Florida summer reading list. Three of my favorites are there: John D. MacDonald’s THE LONELY SILVER RAIN, Carl Hiaasen’s TOURIST SEASON, and Charles Willeford's MIAMI BLUES. And there, too, is SOLOMON vs. LORD. Here's what the News-Press says: “Steve Solomon is the rakish Key West hedonist; Victoria Lord is the down-on-her-heels Yale blueblood. Together, this legal odd couple cracks wise as they solve a Miami-sized mystery in ‘Moonlighting’ style. More fun than should be legal.”

The Yale reference reminds me of yet another Dorothy Parker line. “If all the girls who attended the Yale prom were laid end-to-end, I wouldn’t be a bit surprised.”

And...finally...congrats to Pat Riley and the Miami Humidity, for making it to the NBA Finals. I shared season tickets the first couple seasons – can you believe $50 for first row – and now I follow the team from afar. Go Shaq! Go D. Wade. Eat your hearts out, Laker fans!



By Paul Levine

2 comments:

  1. Congratulations, Paul! I became a fan of your writing from the Jake Lassiter series, but I also loved reading S v. L and The Deep Blue Alibi. Great prose and wickedly funny dialogue. This nomination is another well-deserved recognition of your work.

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  2. CONGRATS, PAUL!!! Such great news, and you did a wonderful job posting the pix, too!!!!

    Great to see you yesterday in T.O--hope we get to hang out again soon.

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