HOME     by HF:   Anthologies   Articles   Films   Intros   Juvenile   Mystery   Non-fiction   Novels   Pamphlets   Plays   Poetry   Stories  
  site:   About HF   Texts   Reviews   Chrono Checklist   Bookstore   Bulletin Board   Site Search   Author Index   Title Index  
Blue Heron Press   Citizen Tom Paine   Freedom Road   Last Frontier   My Glorious Brothers   Spartacus   The Children   Peekskill   Unvanquished   Masuto   EVC's Women  

Howard Fast on Fallen Angel

from Being Red, p. 245-6

As a writer, I could not believe that the blacklist would stop at the film community; it had to spread to the publishers, and the first real warning I had came with a book called The Fallen Angel. ... There is frequently a gap of anything from six months to a year and a half between contracting for a finished manuscript and the publication of the printed book, and that left me time during the first months of 1950 to write a book that was to be my defense against "future shock," to be published under a pseudonym. It was a sort of anti-fascist mystery, a form I had never attempted before. It was fun to do, and I called it The Fallen Angel. Angus Cameron liked the book immensely and agreed that it would be a good idea to establish a second personality, just in case everything took a turn for the worse. The blacklisted screenwriters were already discussing this procedure; but at Little, Brown, some employee, trying to gain points for himself as a 100 percent loyal American, told the FBI what I was planning. J. Edgar Hoover himself called the president of Little, Brown and suggested that a book by Fast under a pseudonym would not meet with his approval. So it goes; they could publish Fast, but not under a pseudonym. Since the book was in print and bound by then, they printed a new dust jacket, which informed the public that Howard Fast had taken the name of Walter Ericson for this type of fiction. They wanted one and all to know whose baleful words these were.

[The dustjacket blurb begins: "Walter Ericson is the pen name adopted by Howard Fast to distinguish his writing in the field of suspense fiction from his other works, which include such well-known novels as The Last Frontier, Freedom Road, and My Glorious Brothers.]


RETURN