Memorial Service Is Set For Author and Screenwriter Evan Hunter a.k.a. Ed McBain

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A memorial service commemorating and celebrating the life of author and screenwriter Evan Hunter, oftentimes called Ed McBain, will be held at: New York Society of Ethical Culture 2 West 64th Street, New York, New York Saturday, October 15, 2005 3PM The service is being arranged by his wife, Dragica Hunter, and is open to the public.

Evan Hunter, the author who virtually invented the American police procedural with his best-selling 87th Precinct series, died due to cancer of the larynx at his home in Weston, CT. He was 78.

As indicated by the New York Times, the Evan Hunter and Ed McBain bylines were strictly separated to avoid any confusion or shock that readers of Evan Hunter's ''serious'' books might feel when exposed to the ''mayhem, bloodshed and violence '' that were Ed McBain's meat and drink. The author later acknowledged a fusion of the literary styles he once considered distinct. ''Evan Hunter and Ed McBain are truly becoming one,'' he said in 1992.

Evan Hunter's prolific writing career spanned five decades creating a vast number of best-selling novels, short stories, plays and film scripts. The following includes some of his best-selling works: The Blackboard Jungle (1954), the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963), Candyland (2001) written in tandem with his alter-ego, Ed McBain, and his most recent novel, Fiddlers (2005).

According to the New York Times, Mr. Hunter considered himself an emotional writer rather than a hard-boiled one. ''I think of myself as a softy,'' he once said. ''I think the 87th Precinct novels are very sentimental, and the cops are idealistic guys.'' He was also a stern moralist, and in many of his novels, this aspect surfaced as a keening lament

for the battered soul of his city.

“Although other practitioners adopted the conventions that continue to distinguish the realistic police procedural from the hard-boiled American private-eye novel and the genteel British detective mystery, many critics considered Mr. Hunter's command of the form to be matchless, an assessment with which he no doubt would have concurred”, the New York Times added.

Evan Hunter was the first American ever to receive the Diamond Dagger, the British

Crime Writers Association’s highest award. He also holds the Mystery Writers of America's Prestigious Grand Master Award for lifetime achievement.

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Mira Zivkovich
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