Medium.com has featured an excerpt of The Widower’s Notebook as a featured member story. The First Day of the Rest of My Life as a Widower. My wife’s mysterious death, and what came next. I start with the part where I am paralyzed, back pressed hard against the living room wall, shrinking into it but watching as if through a lens zooming in and out of the action, near then far, all of it taking place no more than five, six feet in front of me, firemen pushing the coffee table aside, books toppling, paramedics rolling my wife onto the floor, one tearing open her blouse and searching for a heartbeat, another pressing her chest up and down as a second team races in and a woman takes over, flips open a black bag and inserts a tube down my wife’s throat, everything happening in hyperspeed, while I stare at my wife’s face gone pale … Read more
After my wife, Joy’s, sudden death I hid all of the photographs – it was too painful for me to have them around, particularly to come upon them unexpectedly. I needed to be prepared, in control, and drawing provided that. I started drawing a few weeks after Joy’s death. It was a way to stay close but have distance at the same time. I made lots of drawings, not all of them in the book (my publisher and I chose about a dozen for inclusion), and not all of them are here. Some were very quick sketches, others very complete in my typical trompe l’oeil (trick of the eye) style where I have drawn in tape and tears to make the drawings look “real.” There is a chapter in the book about drawing, how I started, and how it helped me move forward.
“The Widower’s Notebook is a searing rendition of the complex relationship between men and grief—an intense despair that is too often starved for words. This chronicle of devastation is itself devastating, a deeply powerful and unflinchingly honest report of how painfully and strangely life continues in the wake of a sudden, tragic death.” -Andrew Solomon, bestselling author of Far From the Tree “The Widower’s Notebook, Jonathan Santlofer’s searingly truthful chronicle of mortality, is, among its wonders, a book about the preciousness of life and love, rendered all the more heart-wrenching, and all the more vital, by a loss almost beyond imagining. It’s a true tragic beauty.” -Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer prize winner and multi-award winning author of The Hours “Deeply moving . . . beautifully written . . . It is such an achievement, like running uphill against a strong wind.” —Joyce Carol Oates, National Book Award winning author “Wrenching, heartbreaking, intense and emotional—but valuable, too: … Read more
I’m very proud to be part of the 4th issue of Vintage Magazine, the brainchild of Ivy Baer Sherman, and the most glorious, beautiful and amazing magazine (so much more than that; think, ART), modeled after the brilliant and short-lived Flair Magazine of the early 1950s. But Vintage is like nothing else, entirely unique and has to be seen to be believed. The fact that anyone would take on such an ambitious magazine project in the digital age is incredible, but Sherman pulls it off in spades. I’m not kidding when I say every issue is a collector’s item and not to be missed.
This past September I was guest columnist for the Crime Fiction Lover blog talking about how one can become a crime writer. Here is an excerpt: “Today we’re honoured to present a guest column by one of the most respected names in crime fiction – Jonathan Santlofer. The author of numerous bestsellers in the genre, including The Death Artist, Color Blind, The Killing Art, Anatomy of Fear and The Murder Notebook, last year he helped found the Crime Fiction Academy in New York. His classic crime cred is impressive as well, with his short stories appearing in the Ellery Queen Magazine, Akashic’s New Jersey Noir, and LA Noire, a compilation which tied in with a PlayStation/Xbox game of the same name. He edited the book, which also included stories by Megan Abbott, Lawrence Block, Joe R Lansdale, Joyce Carol Oates, Francine Prose, Duane Swierczynski and Andrew Vachss. We thought it would be a great idea … Read more
By Micki Siegel When mystery writer and artist Jonathan Santlofer wakes up each morning, he can smell the roses — literally. That’s because Santlofer and his wife, Joy, a food historian, live right in the heart of Chelsea’s flower district. He recalls the day they saw the apartment, back in January 1979: “It was gardenia season,” he says, “and the street was filled with gardenia plants. It just smelled so wonderful. That was one of the reasons why we bought our loft.” In spite of the flowers, the area — industrial by day and deserted by night — left much to be desired. As did the loft itself. “It was horrible,” Santlofer says. “It was in an old furrier’s building. Our apartment had been a deserted fur vault. And it was filthy! There were 4 inches of fur stuck to the walls and the ceilings. There was no heat or hot water. No passenger elevator, … Read more
Here is a snippet of a post I did on the Mulholland Books blog: “Not everyone was schooled on comic books. But I was. I had a roomful: Superman, Batman, The Green Hornet, Spiderman; Archie, Betty and Veronica, Riverdale High, Little Archie. I had Classic Comics too: The Three Musketeers, The Last of the Mohicans, Robinson Crusoe (all of which I considered books until I finally read a real one). But my favorites were horror comics: Tales from the Crypt, The Vault of Horror, Chamber of Chills, Terror Tales. I had them all. Stacks of them. It was difficult to get in and out of my bedroom. My mother complained it was impossible to clean. I didn’t see her point. Friends would come over and we’d lock ourselves in and read all day. I’d read and reread my favorites, stories that became etched in my preadolescent brain. Read more here…”
by Macy Halford It was criminal how sexy it was. Writers of different genres intermingling, their poisons of choice (Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir) placid in Dixie cups. Bright lights, marble busts of dead authors, buttercream-yellow walls and crown molding, an overwhelming air of camaraderie. This was the scene last night at the old Mercantile Library, on East 47th Street, now the Center for Fiction and home (for an hour) to a reading of The End of a Dark Street. The editors of this decidedly transgressive anthology, S. J. Rozan and Jonathan Santlofer, stood and explained their reasoning: by bringing literary heavyweights (among them Madison Smartt Bell, Francine Prose, Amy Hempel, Edmund White) together with crime-fiction heavyweights (among them Lee Child, Laura Lippman, James Grady, Lawrence Block, Val McDermid), the literary legitimacy of crime fiction might be demonstrated: all the stories were so good, Rozan said, that one could not tell which were written by the … Read more