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Final Drafts: Suicides of World-Famous Authors Hardcover – December 1, 1999
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
More About the Author
In May of 1987, Seinfelt received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Washington University in St. Louis where he was the recipient of a three-year tuition scholarship, fellowship, and teaching assistantship; and where he completed the novel "The Mozart Machine." The chairman of his dissertation committee was the noted fiction writer, philosopher, essayist and multiple National Book Circle Award-winner William H. Gass. Seinfelt's was the only creative writing thesis Gass had ever consented to supervise during his years at Washington University. At St. Louis, Seinfelt also studied under Stanley Elkin, Lee K. Abbot, Donald Finkel, Diane Ackerman, Charles Newman, and Pulitzer Prize winning author and United States Poet Laureate Howard Nemerov.
Since receiving his MFA, Seinfelt has completed four more novels "Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town," "Steiglitz's Folly," "Intrusive Voices," and "At Last the Distinguished Thing." His fiction has been featured in "Kalliope" and "Chicxculub." In September 1996, a chapter from his suicide-study-in-progress "Final Drafts" was published in "The Bookpress: The Newspaper of the Literary Arts," a Cornell University publication. "Final Drafts" was Seinfelt's first book to reach publication. Acquired by Prometheus Books, it saw print in December 1999. Prometheus is a commercial press specializing in non-fiction and is the publisher of Steve Allen, Peter Ustinov, Leslie Fiedler, and Jack Kevorkian, among others. On January 16, 2000, Seinfelt was the featured guest on Book Gallery, a nationally syndicated radio talk show. Also that year an entry on Seinfelt appeared in "Contemporary Authors," a reference series that provides information on approximately 112,000 writers in a wide range of media, including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, journalism, and screenwriting. In February 2004, "Final Drafts" was chosen as an alternate selection of The Readers' Subscription Book Club. In 2008, his novel "Henry Boulanger of Mushannon Town" was a semi-finalist in the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award contest and was subsequently published by the Amazon subsidiary BookSurge/ Create Space. In August 2009 BookSurge/ Create Space also published "Symphonie Fantastique," a collection of his shorter novels.
In May 2010, Seinfelt's novel "Henry Boulanger of Moshannon Town" received a Pinnacle Book Achievement Award from the North American Bookdealers Exchange and will be showcased on NABE's website and at trade book shows beginning in October. For the past twenty-five years, the NABE Pinnacle Awards annually honor top genre books published by independent publishers. In 2008, the book was a semi-finalist in the Amazon.com Breakthrough Novel Award contest.
On January 21, 2011, Mark Seinfelt's new novel "Baldr and Beatrice" was published by CreateSpace. Mark Seinfelt revisits the time-proven formula of girl and boy forever desiring - but never achieving - the culmination of their love in "Baldr and Beatrice".
Seinfelt is single and presently resides in Philipsburg, Pennsylvania, where he serves as a Trustee and Grant Writer for the Philipsburg Historical Foundation and as Secretary for the Committee for a Moshannon Valley Veterans Memorial.
He is an avid reader and sportsman. An amateur pianist, he also enjoys fencing, fishing, hiking, swimming and spelunking.
My website is: www.markseinfelt.com
Top Customer Reviews
Although many fit this criteria, Seinfelt managed to bring out a epathy towards these writers. He also managed to convey the fact that their lives were not wasted or thrown away, but even though wracked by pain, guilt or other strong emotion, many created works of art that endure today. I also got the sense that without their art, these individuals would not have lived as long as they did.
However, this does not pertain to all writers in the book. I felt people like Hitler (even treated unkindly by Seinfelt) and others did not belong in the same book as writers such as Mishima. The largest flaw in the book is that writers like Hitler should have been removed and the book shortened to include mostly writers driven to suicide by mental illness, failure or other cause beyond their control. With some good editing and removing about 150 pages, I would given this book 5 stars.
His chapter on Mishma, perhaps the most spectacular suicide of all the writers, is made as dry and boring as reading instructions on how to assemble a child's toy. The author's style is best suited for such or an academic dissertation, something one has to read rather that what someone would read for pleasure or information.
Those of us who are still alive have little reason to worry that our own mechanisms for clinging to life will be vividly portrayed in a book of this nature, but some people have official positions which call on them to interact with famous people in a way which this book cannot ignore. In the case of William H. Webster, director of the F.B.I. in 1979, his contribution to this book was a public statement concerning a rumor printed on May 19, 1970, "Papa's said to be a rather prominent Black Panther," (p. 335) about Jean Seberg, wife of Romain Gary, "but that the story had been broken independently by Haber shortly after the bureau had given the go-ahead to its Los Angeles division to disseminate the rumor." (p. 336). Webster's statement, "The days when the FBI used derogatory information to combat advocates of unpopular causes have long since passed. We are out of that business forever." (p. 336).Read more ›