I haven’t actually seen the reissued editions of Ellen Raskin’s three novels that aren’t The Westing Game, but I guess the announcement’s been floating around me in the kidlitosphere. Something, anyway, led me to this foreword to the 2004 anniversary edition of The Westing Game. It’s written by Raskin’s editor and friend, Ann Durell.
I love that they met in a smoking car.
I love that Raskin practiced for her reading of The Westing Game, the part where Theo sings– by singing herself, on the subway, because it was a tougher audience than a reading. (Don’t you wish Raskin could have met Lynda Barry? Who started off her talk in Portland a few months ago by singing, so that talking wouldn’t make her nervous by comparison? Those two would have hit it off, and with Louise Fitzhugh along they could have taken over the world.)
But mostly what stuck in my head from the introduction was this:
She said, with her usual candor, that she didn’t know what children’s books were like. She read only adult ones. But I never even tried to edit her “for children.” She was too wise, too funny, too ingenious–and therefore unique–to tamper with in that way. She said that she wrote for the child in herself, but for once I think she was wrong. I think she wrote for the adult in children.
I am grateful for that. I think I had a lot of adult in me when I was a child.
So. The reprint rights for the three novels were bought along with a “nearly complete” posthumous book called A Murder for Macaroni and Cheese, which is listed for release in May. And, and and and, “The Westing Quest, a sequel to The Westing Game.” (No “nearly completed” attached to that, I notice.) But this news is from 2007. Is there…? Will there…? Or…?
Probably not. Right? I try not to think about it. Because it could end up like waiting for the fourth Star Wars movie.