The books of MacDonald Harris

Norman Geras of Normblog regularly asks others to review a book or play that was important to them. In this article, Philip Pullman writes about the books of MacDonald Harris.

MacDonald Harris was the pseudonym of Donald Heiney (1921-1993), a naval veteran and distinguished professor of literature.

Philip Pullman says

I’m astonished, really, that such a clever and interesting writer should have vanished so completely: I’ve spoken of him to several well-read people, and none of them has heard of him. Perhaps he lacked some vital ingredient, that mysterious mana that brings commercial and critical success to many writers nowhere near as good. Perhaps it was just that he was too interested in too many kinds of life, and didn’t stick to one sort of book. Perhaps he never quite managed a single undeniable masterpiece, whose gravitational field would have pulled his other work into prominence. Besides, none of his novels has been filmed.Buy him while you can, is my advice. Here is a full list of his novels:

Private Demons (1961); Mortal Leap (1964); Trepleff (1968); Bull Fire (1973); The Balloonist (1976); Yukiko (1977); Pandora’s Galley (1979); The Treasure of Sainte Foy (1980); Herma (1981); Screenplay (1982); Tenth (1984); The Little People (1986); Glowstone (1987); Hemingway’s Suitcase (1990); Glad Rags (1991); A Portrait of My Desire (1993).

If you Google his name, you’ll find a short and interesting website about his life and work.


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