the greatest recluse author – Trevanian

I recently learned that one of my favourite authors died in 2005.

One obituary:

TREVANIAN, author of The Eiger Sanction, Shibumi and The Summer of Katya, is no longer with us. He died on Dec. 14 in London. Even when he was alive, no one knew who he was, because Trevanian was merely a pseudonym. Rodney Whitaker was his real name, and he published both fiction and nonfiction under multiple pen names. He may be the only person who can claim to have sold millions of books worldwide without making one single promotional appearance or doing one single booksigning or live interview. …


It was often rumored that he was actually Robert Ludlum using a pen name to which Trevanian stated, “I don’t even know who he is.

Mr. Whitaker lived much of his life in a little Basque village on the French side of the Pyrenees and used it as a setting in his writing.

Trevanian tried to disappear in 1979, actually doing a farewell interview with the NY Times that year. But that pseudonym did not die until The Summer of Katya (1983).

Then nothing for 15-years.

When I saw — unexpectedly — Incident at Twenty-Mile (1998) appear on the shelves, I assumed it was a successor, perhaps a son. The book was excellent — but much different than his earlier work.

Then <a href=”Hot Night in the City (2001)

And Death Dance (2002)

Finally, the last book before his death:


The Crazyladies of Pearl Street: A Memoir (2006)

It’s an excellent read, somewhat based on the author’s own life. A life still shrouded in mystery.

Trevanian’s final novel is the warm, entertaining coming-of-age story of an imaginative boy in working class New York.

He has additional unpublished works in the works, I understand.

One thought on “the greatest recluse author – Trevanian

  1. Sean

    Trevanian was a great writer. He was about to burn eternal images in my mind though the simplest phrasing of words. A genius.
    I recommend, Shibumi, epically for those of a linguistic background.

    Rodney must have been an amazing man, a lost the world has not fully noted.

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