Edward Whittemore

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Edward Whittemore (1933-1995) was an American novelist, the author of five novels written between 1974 and 1987.

The youngest of five children, Whittemore was born in May 26, 1933 in Maine, USA, but little else is known about his early life. He graduated from Deering High School, Portland, Maine in 1951, and went to Yale shortly after, where he obtained a degree in history. He then joined the Marines and served as an officer on a tour of duty in Japan, where he was approached by the CIA and recruited into the service, working as an agent in the Far East, Europe and the Middle East from 1958 until 1967.

Whittemore is perhaps best known for the four novels that constitute the Jerusalem Quartet. An earlier book, Quin's Shanghai Circus (1974), contains the seeds of what was to come in the Jerusalem sequence. Out of print for many years, all five books were reissued by Old Earth Books in 2003.

Many writers and critics have lauded the novels' breadth and imaginative intensity in publications such as The New York Times Book Review, Harper's Magazine, The Nation, The Village Voice, Locus Magazine and The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. On the other hand, science fiction author and critic Thomas M. Disch gave Jerusalem Poker a very negative review in the Times Literary Supplement, bemoaning more enthusiastic appreciations as a "litany of avant-garde hype" while labelling Whittemore an "anti-writer" with a "genteel poverty of imagination."

Edward Whittemore died in August 3, 1995, shortly after being diagnosed with prostate cancer.

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