Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Case of the Absent Author, Or Who is E.W. Hildick?

IRONY ALERT:  Shortly after I wrote this post, I noticed Hildick wrote a book called "The Case of the Absent Author" in 1995.

Oh, that Internet. It can find you just about anything these days.

But as for information on one of my favorite authors from childhood, there’s not a lot out there.
I’m talking E.W. Hildick – Edmund Wallace Hildick – who brought us the wonderful Jack P. McGurk of the McGurk mysteries series (I won’t hold the latter ones, where they indulge in time travel, against him).

His Wikipedia page? Not a lot.

Wikipedia helpfully provides a link to a “family page” where Hildick is mentioned – but he’s mentioned in passing:

I’m not sure when Edmund when to America but he is well known as an author of childrens fiction as any Internet search will tell you.

Hardly illuminating.

A search of Google Book reviews comes up with something that’s nary a surprise: A review I wrote of Hildick’s book “Manhattan is Missing.” Flattering, but hardly informative.

While the European Union is struggling with the internet “Right to be Forgotten,” Edmund Wallace Hildick seems to have accomplished that with little more than staying off the Internet and having a family far more interested in genealogy than becoming Internet famous.

He even appears to have written a book on writing – Thirteen Types of Narrative – you’d think anyone with the gumption to write such a book would have more information available out there. But no.

Even the book nerds at Goodreads (I’m one of them) have struggled to find information on the man, viz his author profile there.

Thomas Pynchon should have this ability to remain out of the limelight.
He may have reasons. And if so, that’s fine. But is there a reason to conceal the reasons? Is there any concealment at all?

Maybe it’s because he’s a “children’s” author. Not significant enough. But I doubt that. There are a lot of McGurk fans out there. Surely I can’t be the only fan boy wondering where all the Hildick information is.

Jack McGurk – Jonathon Prudence McGurk, according to Wikipedia – has a longer page than his creator. And since the Wikipedia article doesn’t cite sources for McGurk’s full name, I have to doubt its veracity. And the “Kiddie Pulp” section at The Thrilling Detective Web Site has more information on the books. But NOTHING about their author.


And more importantly, why am I whining about this today? Well, I found a copy of Hildick’s “The Case of the Nervous Newsboy” at the thrift store last night, and it got me to thinking about Hildick all over again.

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