1933 - 1995
Photo by Carol Martin
the author of five wise and wonderful, highly imaginative
novels, written between the years 1974 to 1987. His death
in 1995 tragically cut short his writing career. He is
best known for the four novels that comprise the Jerusalem
Tapestry" (1977), "Jerusalem
Poker" (1978), "Nile Shadows" (1983) and "Jericho
Mosaic" (1987). An earlier book, "Quin's
Shanghai Circus" (1974) is also well worth reading,
as it contains, in the writing style and within the theme
of the novel, the seeds of what was to come in the Jerusalem
sequence, and is an excellent novel itself.
All five of the novels had been out of print in English
editions for over ten years, but Open Road Media
published eBook versions of the Whittemore novels
in English on 23 July 2013 and an Omnibus eBook edition of the Jerusalem Quartet in November 2013. More information on these
editions is available at: http://www.openroadmedia.com/edward-whittemore.
French, Dutch, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese,
Danish, Greek and Latvian editions of some of the novels are available. Check
out the covers page for
cover images and information on these editions.
I have been an
enthusiastic fan of Edward Whittemore's writings since
the late 1970s, which was when I first discovered his
books. I am not alone. Worldwide there are many enlightened
souls who feel the same way about the books as I do.
I call them collectively "The Edward Whittemore
Appreciation Society" - click here to read their
contributions to the First
Impressions page and sign up for the Message
Board where the "society" have been discussing
the books, on and off, for years.
This site was first
launched in August 2001 to address the lack of any substantial
material on the mysterious Edward Whittemore. Since
then more information has come to hand with generous
contributions from people who knew Edward (Ted, as he
was called) Whittemore when he was alive. Carol Martin
has made available many photographs from her years of
association with Ted, Tom
Wallace contributed his and Judy
Karasik's memoirs and Helen
Bar-Lev has allowed me to reproduce her sketches
from the time Whittemore shared her life in Jerusalem
and the poems she wrote later about him. Others, like
Jeff VanderMeer, have graciously permitted me to add
their reviews. The Articles
page has a comprehensive bibliography of reviews and
press articles, many of them reproduced on this site.
and oddities such as letters, a
time line, a
list of historical sources (many thanks to Jean-Daniel
Breque for the time line & the who's who) and other
stuff that doesn't fit anywhere else, can be accessed
from the Miscellaneous
What other writers
have to say about Whittemore:
" Edward Whittemore
was one of the great masters of magic realism. The fact
that his work did not bring him renown in his lifetime
is a shame and a travesty. He was truly one of the few
writers I've ever encountered who through his stories,
taught you how to see the world with different eyes,
a different heart, and best of all, made your soul grow.
Although he is gone, it is high time the world gave
him his due. Tom Robbins? John Irving? Even God Vonnegut
- forget 'em - read Whittemore"
Jonathan Carroll author of "Land of Laughs" etc.
"One of the
best-kept secrets in American literature, the novels
of the mysterious Edward Whittemore are like bowls of
hashish pudding: rich, dark, tasty, amusing, intoxicating,
revelatory, a little bit outlandish and a little bit
Tom Robbins author of "Even Cow Girls Get the
"In the end,
all I can tell you is this: If you believe in fiction
much as you would a religion, or if you think that great
works of fiction contain insights and wisdom that can
literally change your life, or if you have known books
that took you on strange but wonderful journeys, then
you should read Edward Whittemore. He will not disappoint
Jeff VanderMeer author of "Southern Reach Trilogy" etc.