Woman with a Blue Pencil

Product Details
Seventh Street Books
Publish Date
5.4 X 8.1 X 0.5 inches | 0.35 pounds

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About the Author
Gordon McAlpine is the author of Hammett Unwritten and numerous other novels, as well as a middle-grade trilogy, The Misadventures of Edgar and Allan Poe. Additionally, he is coauthor of the nonfiction book The Way of Baseball, Finding Stillness at 95 MPH. He has taught creative writing and literature at U.C. Irvine, U.C.L.A., and Chapman University. He lives with his wife Julie in Southern California.
"Woman with a Blue Pencil is a brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novel--something of an enigma wrapped in a mystery, postmodernist in its experimental bravado and yet satisfyingly well-grounded in the Los Angeles of its World War II era. Gordon McAlpine has imagined a totally unique work of 'mystery' fiction--one that Kafka, Borges, and Nabokov, as well as Dashiell Hammett, would have appreciated."


"The tragic treatment of Japanese Americans during World War II is illuminated in a new way in Gordon McAlpine's stylistic and effective novel investigating the erasure of identity. The novel's structure itself is a perfect metaphor for the confusion and repression of the times and how people with 'blue pencils' seek to edit the representation of historic experiences. This is a brilliant novel that you will want to read over and over again."

--NAOMI HIRAHARA, Edgar(R) Award-winning author of Summer of the Big Bachi


"Hammett Unwritten tells a story but raises questions about the nature of fiction and those who create it that will stay with you long after you finish the book." --Gumshoe Review

"[A] spectacularly original novel." --Otto Penzler, The Mysterious Bookshop

"Nearly perfect. . . . [An] inspired tale that delivers as expertly drawn meta-fiction and a compelling mystery." --Reviewing the Evidence

"[A] literary conceit-within-a-conceit-within-another-conceit, and it succeeds very well. Readers who prefer to just focus on the story at hand will be rewarded with an exciting tale . . . and those who enjoy literary games-playing will have fun sorting it all out." --Booklist

"Staggering. A must-read . . . . Sublimely clever." --Ken Bruen, author of Headstone

"[An] imaginative mashup of meta-mystery with meta-biography."--Publishers Weekly

"An enticing tale of fact and fiction." --Suspense Magazine

"This fun metabiography takes the characters and general background of The Maltese Falcon and combines it with just enough fact to generate an entertaining tale." --Monsters and Critics