Edward Whittemore, author of the fascinating literary tetralogy "The Jerusalem Quartet" (novels with elements of fantasy), died August 3, 1995, at a hospice in Riverdale, the Bronx.The cause was prostate cancer. He was 62. Survivors include his companion Ann Pasanella, two daughters, two grandchildren, and four brothers and sisters.

Whittemore had a life as interesting as his books. After graduating from Yale in 1955 with a degree in history, he spent three years in the Marines, received US government-sponsored training in languages at a school in Yokohama, Japan, then joined the CIA - for whom he worked between 1958 and 1967, stationed in Japan and Italy. Following a brief stint with the administration of New York mayor John Lindsay, he turned to writing. His first novel, bizarre wartime chronicle Quin's Shanghai Circus (1974), received favorable comparisons to Thomas Pynchon. He went on to live in Jerusalem, where he wrote most of the "Quartet": Sinai Tapestry (1977), Jerusalem Poker (1978), Nile Shadows (1981), and Jericho Mosaic (1987).

The Cleveland Plain Dealer aptly described his work as "comedy, horror, wit, tragedy, erudition, and breathtaking imagination... romantic, as great fantasy dressed in truth must always be."

© 70 / LOCUS October 1995


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