Payback McGee

Writers — journalists in particular, but writers in general — have a finely honed instinct for payback. So it’s no surprise to learn that John D. MacDonald, creator of Travis McGee and scores of superb suspense novels, spent the later years of his career sending sarcastic rejection letters to editors who approached him for stories after having turned him down during his scuffling years.

I don’t know what trapdoor slips were like in the Forties, when MacDonald got started, but his parody letter is far more personable and intelligible than the bizarro-world corporate-speak rejections going out these days. But that’s John D. MacDonald for you. The man never wrote a dull sentence in his life.

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