Pulp Writer

Pulp Writer

Twenty Years in the American Grub Street

Paul S. Powers
Edited and with biographical essays by Laurie Powers

276 pages
19 photographs, index

Paperback

May 2007

978-0-8032-5984-3

$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

He wrote under at least eight pseudonyms, published hundreds of short stories and novellas in pulp magazines, and lived a life at times as outrageous as his fiction. Pulp Writer tells of Paul S. Powers’s travels from serious literary ambitions to the pages of Wild West Weekly, of his seeking his fortune (or material, at any rate) in the ghost towns and mining camps of Colorado, and of his life in Arizona and California as he reaped the rewards of his wildly successful Wild West Weekly characters such as Sonny Tabor and Kid Wolf.
 
Extending from the Great Depression to the golden age of the pulps, Powers’s career, chronicled here in often laugh-out-loud style, is an American success story of true grit and commercial savvy and of a larger-than-life character with questionable but endlessly entertaining Western lore to spare. In the process, he provides a valuable and rarely-chronicled look at the business of writing and publishing pulp fiction during its golden years.
 
Powers’s granddaughter Laurie never knew her grandfather and lost touch with his side of the family. In her biographical essays, she finds her lost family and discovers the Pulp Writer manuscript. Her essays also provide a valuable historical context for pulp publications such as Wild West Weekly and their importance during the Great Depression.

Author Bio

Paul S. Powers (1905–71) was a writer of pulp westerns for twenty years and the author of Doc Dillahay, published by Macmillan in 1949. During his life he earned a reputation as an expert in western Americana and rare books. Laurie Powers a writer, editor, and book collector, has a degree in American studies and wrote the introduction to the reprint of Paul S. Powers’s Desert Justice.

Praise

“This is a real gem. . . . [A] lively, outspoken, hugely entertaining chronicle. . . . Although the memoir was written more than half a century ago, much of what Powers says about getting started in the publishing game still holds. In addition, editor Laurie’s introduction offers a concise and informative history of the pulp era. . . . [R]ecommended enthusiastically to writers of all stripes and to anyone interested in the history of pulp publishing.”—Booklist (starred review)

“[Powers] provides a lively chronicle of working during the 1930s and '40s, the years many fans consider the golden era of pulp fiction. . . . Powers may not have been a great prose stylist, but he could spin a lively, readable yarn—as this long-neglected autobiography attests.”—Charles Solomon, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“This work is a treasure for pulp fans, and a fine introduction for those looking to learn more about an underappreciated American art form.”—Publishers Weekly

"Writing talent was not limited to Paul S. Powers generation. In this collaboration with her grandfather Laurie Powers has produced an engaging account of the work of this pulp writer that belongs on the shelf of every pulp enthusiast and student of popular culture."—Dime Novel Round-up

Awards

Southwest Books of the Year Top Pick of 2007

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