I think I'd best treat this as an interrogation, in which I am not certain of the intent or attitude of the interrogator.
I was born Donald Edwin Westlake on July 12th, 1933 in Brooklyn, New York. My mother, Lillian, maiden name Bounds, mother's maiden name Fitzgerald, was all Irish. My father, Albert, his mother's maiden name being Tyrrell, was half Irish. (The English snuck in, as they will.) They were all green, and I was born on Orangeman's Day, which led to my first awareness of comedy as a consumer. I got over the unfortunate element of my birth long before my uncles did.
My mother believed in all superstitions, plus she made some up. One of her beliefs was that people whose initials spelled something would be successful in life. That's why I went through grammar school as Dewdrip. However, my mother forgot Confirmation, when the obedient Catholic is burdened with yet another name. So she stuck Edmond in there, and told me that E was behind the E of Edwin, so I wasn't DEEW, I was DEW. Perhaps it helped.
I attended three colleges, all in New York State, none to much effect. Interposed amid this schooling was two and a half years in the United States Air Force, during which I also learned very little, except a few words in German. I was a sophomore in three colleges, finally made junior in Harpur College in Binghamton, NY, and left academe forever. However, I was eventually contacted by SUNY Binghamton, the big university that Harpur College had grown up to become. It was their theory that their ex-students who did not graduate were at times interesting, and worthy to be claimed as alumni. Among those she mentioned were cartoonist Art Spiegelman and dancer Bill T. Jones, a grandfaloon I was very happy to join, which I did when SUNY Binghamton gave me a doctorate in letters in June 1996. As a doctor, I accept no co-pay.
I have one sister, one wife and two ex-wives. (You can't have ex-sisters, but that's all right, I'm pleased with the one I have.) The sister was named by my mother Virginia, but my mother had doped out the question of Confirmation by then--Virigina's two and half years younger than me, still--and didn't give her a middle name. Her Confirmation name was Olga, the only thing my mother could find that would make VOW. The usual mother-daughter dynamic being in play, my sister immediately went out and married a man whose name started with B.
My wife, severally Abigail Westlake, Abby Adams Westlake and Abby Adams, which makes her three wives right there, is a writer, of non-fiction, frequently gardening, sometimes family history. Her two published books are An Uncommon Scold and The Gardener's Gripe Book.
Seven children lay parental claims on us. They have all reached drinking age, so they're on their own.
Having been born in Brooklyn, I was raised first in Yonkers and then in Albany, schooled in Plattsburgh and Troy and Binghamton, and at last found Manhattan. (At least I was looking in the right state.) Abby was born in Manhattan, which makes it easier. We retain a rope looped over a butt there, but for the last decade have spent most of our time on an ex-farm upstate. It is near nothing, which is the point. Our nearest neighbor on two sides is Coach Farm, producer of a fine goat cheese I've eaten as far away as San Francisco. They have 750 goats up there on their side of the hill. More importantly, they have put 770 acres abutting our land into the State Land Conservancy, so it cannot be built on. I recommend everybody have Miles and Lillian Cann and Coach Farm as their neighbors.
I knew I was a writer when I was eleven; it took the rest of the world about ten years to begin to agree. Up till then, my audience was mainly limited to my father, who was encouraging and helpful, and ultimately influential in an important way.
Neophyte writers are always told, "write what you know," but the fact is, kids don't know anything. A beginning writer doesn't write what he knows, he writes what he read in books or saw in movies. And that's the way it was with me. I wrote gangster stories, I wrote stories about cowboys, I wrote poems about prospecting-in Alaska, so I could rhyme with "cold"-I wrote the first chapters of all kinds of novels. The short stories I mailed off to magazines, and they mailed them back in the self-addressed, stamped envelopes I had provided. And in the middle of it all, my father asked me a question which, probably more than any other single thing, decided what kind of writer I was going to be.
I was about fourteen. I'd written a science-fiction about aliens from another planet who come to Earth and hire a husband-wife team of big-game hunters to help them collect examples of every animal on Earth for their zoo back on Alpha Centauri or wherever. At the end of the story, they kidnap the hero and heroine and take them away in the spaceship because they want examples of every animal on Earth.
Now, this was a perfectly usable story. It has been written and published dozens of times, frequently with Noah's Ark somewhere in the title, and my version was simply that story again, done with my sentences. I probably even thought I'd made it up.
So I showed it to my father. He read it and said one or two nice things about the dialogue or whatever, and then he said, "why did you write this story?"
I didn't know what he meant. The true answer was that science-fiction magazines published that story with gonglike regularity and I wanted a story published somewhere. This truth was so implicit I didn't even have words to describe it, and therefore there was no way to understand the question.
So he asked it a different way: "What's the story about?" Well, it's about these people that get taken to be in a zoo on Alpha Centauri. "No, what's it about?" he said. "The old fairy tales that you read when you were a little boy, they all had a moral at the end. If you put a moral at the end of this story, what would it be?"
I didn't know. I didn't know what the moral was. I didn't know what the story was about.
The truth was, of course, that the story wasn't about anything. It was a very modest little trick, like a connect-the-dots thing on a restaurant place mat. There's nothing particularly wrong with connect-the-dots things, and there's nothing particularly wrong with this constructivist kind of writing, a little story or a great big fat novel with nothing and nobody in it except this machine that turns over and at the end this jack-in-the-box pops out. There's nothing wrong with that.
But it isn't what I thought I wanted to be. So that question of my father's wriggled right down into my brain like a worm, and for quite a while it took the fun out of things. I'd be sitting there writing a story about mobsters having a shootout in a nightclub office-straight out of some recent movie-and the worm would whisper: Why are you writing this story?
Naturally, I didn't want to listen, but I had no real choice in the matter. The question kept coming, and I had to try to figure out some way to answer it, and so, slowly and gradually, I began to find out what I was doing. And ultimately I refined the question itself down to this: What does this story mean to me that I should spend my valuable time creating it?
And that's how I began to become a writer.
- Ancram, NY (2001)
"Richard Stark" redirects here. For the Florida politician, see Richard Stark (politician). For fictional character in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R. R. Martin, see Rickon Stark.
|Donald E. Westlake|
|Born||Donald Edwin Westlake|
(1933-07-12)July 12, 1933
Brooklyn, New York
|Died||December 31, 2008(2008-12-31) (aged 75)|
|Pen name||John B. Allan, Judson Jack Carmichael, Curt Clark, Timothy J. Culver, J. Morgan Cunningham, Richard Stark, Edwin West, among others|
|Notable works||The Hunter, The Grifters, The Stepfather|
Donald Edwin Westlake (July 12, 1933 – December 31, 2008) was an American writer, with over a hundred novels and non-fiction books to his credit. He specialized in crime fiction, especially comic capers, with an occasional foray into science fiction and other genres. Westlake is perhaps best-remembered for creating two professional criminal characters who each starred in a long-running series: the relentless, hard-boiled Parker (published under the pen name Richard Stark), and John Dortmunder who featured in a more humorous series.
He was a three-time Edgar Award winner, and alongside Joe Gores and William L. DeAndrea was one of few writers to win Edgars in three different categories (1968, Best Novel, God Save the Mark; 1990, Best Short Story, "Too Many Crooks"; 1991, Best Motion Picture Screenplay, The Grifters). In 1993, the Mystery Writers of America named Westlake a Grand Master, the highest honor bestowed by the society.
Westlake was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Albany, New York.
Westlake wrote constantly in his teens, and after 200 rejections, his first short story sale was in 1954. Sporadic short story sales followed over the next few years, while Westlake attended Champlain College of Plattsburgh, New York (now defunct) and Binghamton University in Binghamton, New York. He also spent two years in the United States Air Force.
Westlake moved to New York City in 1959, initially to work for a literary agency while writing on the side. By 1960, he was writing full-time. His first novel under his own name, The Mercenaries, was published in 1960; over the next 48 years, Westlake published a variety of novels and short stories under his own name and a number of pseudonyms.
He was married three times, the final time to Abigail Westlake (also known as Abby Adams Westlake and Abby Adams), a writer of nonfiction (her two published books are An Uncommon Scold and The Gardener's Gripe Book). The couple moved out of New York City to Ancram in upstate New York in 1990. Abby Westlake is a well-regarded gardener, and the Westlake garden has frequently been opened for public viewing in the summer.
Westlake died of a heart attack on December 31, 2008, while on the way to a New Year's Eve dinner, while he and his wife were on vacation in Mexico.
In addition to writing consistently under his own name, Westlake published under several pseudonyms. In the order they debuted:
- Rolfe Passer: An early Westlake story was published under this name in Mystery Digest in 1958. Rolfe Passer was actually the assistant editor of the magazine at the time. It is not known why the story was published under Passer's name; frequent Westlake collaborator Lawrence Block has suggested "editorial incompetence".
- Richard Stark: Westlake's best-known continuing pseudonym was that of Richard Stark. Stark debuted in 1959, with a story in Mystery Digest. Four other Stark short stories followed through 1961, including "The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution", later the title story in Westlake's first short-story collection. Then, from 1962 to 1974, sixteen novels about the relentless and remorseless professional thief Parker and his accomplices (including larcenous actor Alan Grofield) appeared and were credited to Richard Stark. "Stark" was then inactive until 1997, when Westlake once again began writing and publishing Parker novels under Stark's name. The University of Chicago began republishing the Richard Stark novels in 2008. When Stephen King wrote the novel The Dark Half in 1989, he named the central villain George Stark as an homage to Westlake.
- Alan Marshall (or Alan Marsh): Westlake acknowledged writing as many as 28 paperback soft-porn titles from 1959–64 under these names; titles include All My Lovers, Man Hungry, All About Annette, Sally, Virgin's Summer, Call Me Sinner, Off Limits, and three featuring the character of Phil Crawford: Apprentice Virgin, All the Girls Were Willing, and Sin Prowl. Westlake was not the only author to work under Marshall's name, claiming that: "The publishers would either pay more for the names they already knew or would only buy from (those) names…so it became common practice for several of us to loan our names to friends…. Before…the end of 1961…six other people, friends of mine, published books as Alan Marshall, with my permission but without the publishers' knowledge." Two novels published in 1960 by Midwood Books were co-authored by Westlake and Lawrence Block (who used the pen-name "Sheldon Lord") and were credited to "Sheldon Lord and Alan Marshall": A Girl Called Honey, dedicated to Westlake and Block, and So Willing, dedicated to "Nedra and Loretta," who were (at that time) Westlake and Block's wives.
- James Blue: One-shot pseudonym, used as a third name circa 1959 when both Westlake and Stark already had stories in a magazine issue. In actuality, the name of Westlake's cat.
- Ben Christopher: One-shot pseudonym for a 1960 story in 77 Sunset Strip magazine, based on the characters from the TV show.
- John Dexter: A house pseudonym used by Nightstand Books for the work of numerous authors. The very first novel credited to John Dexter is a soft-core work by Westlake called No Longer A Virgin (1960)
- Andrew Shaw: Pseudonym used by Westlake and Lawrence Block for their 1961 collaborative soft-core novel Sin Hellcat. Like John Dexter (above), "Andrew Shaw" was a house pseudonym used by a wide variety of authors.
- Edwin West: Brother and Sister, Campus Doll, Young and Innocent, all 1961; Strange Affair, 1962; Campus Lovers, 1963, one 1966 short story.
- John B. Allan: Elizabeth Taylor: A Fascinating Story of America's Most Talented Actress and the World's Most Beautiful Woman, 1961, biography.
- Don Holliday: Pseudonym used by Westlake for two collaborative soft-core novels (with various authors, including Hal Dresner and Lawrence Block) in 1963/64.
- Curt Clark: Debuted in 1964 with the short story "Nackles". Novel: Anarchaos, 1967, science fiction.
- Barbara Wilson: One co-authored novel with Laurence Janifer (The Pleasures We Know, 1964); Janifer also used this name for at least one solo novel with no involvement from Westlake.
- Tucker Coe: 5 mystery novels featuring the character of Mitch Tobin: Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death, 1966; Murder Among Children, 1967; Wax Apple and A Jade in Aries, both 1970; Don't Lie to Me, 1972.
- P. N. Castor: Pseudonym used for one 1966 short story co-authored with Dave Foley.
- Timothy J. Culver: Ex Officio, 1970, thriller.
- J. Morgan Cunningham: Comfort Station, 1971, humor. Cover features the blurb, "I wish I had written this book! – Donald E. Westlake."
- Samuel Holt: 4 mystery novels featuring the character of Sam Holt, 1986-1989: One of Us is Wrong and I Know a Trick Worth Two of That, both 1986; What I Tell You Three Times is False, 1987; The Fourth Dimension is Death, 1989. Westlake used the Holt pseudonym as an experiment to see if he could succeed as an author under a new name; he was dismayed when his publisher revealed the true identity of "Holt" simultaneously with the release of the first book. Westlake subsequently delivered all four books he had contracted for as Holt, but abandoned plans to write at least two further books in the series.
- Judson Jack Carmichael: The Scared Stiff, 2002, mystery; UK editions dropped the pseudonym.
Westlake sometimes made playful use of his pseudonyms in his work:
- John Dortmunder and associates plan a kidnapping based on a mythical Richard Stark/Parker novel in Westlake's Jimmy The Kid. Stark himself makes an appearance in the novel.
- Richard Stark's character of Parker has ID that gives his name as "John B. Allan".
- In the film version of The Grifters (for which Westlake wrote the screenplay) a key scene takes place at the firm of Stark, Coe and Fellows. Westlake explains the in-joke in the film's DVD commentary track, noting that he wrote books as "Richard Stark, Tucker Coe and some other fellows."
- In the Mitch Tobin novel A Jade in Aries, Tobin phones a friend who briefly mistakes Tobin for somebody named Don Stark.
Additionally, Westlake conducted a mock 'interview' with Richard Stark, Tucker Coe and Timothy J. Culver in an article for the non-fiction book Murder Ink: The Mystery Reader's Companion.
Donald Westlake was known for the great ingenuity of his plots and the audacity of his gimmicks. His writing and dialogue are lively. His main characters are fully rounded, believable, and clever. Westlake's most famous characters include the hard-boiled criminal Parker (appearing in fiction under the Richard Stark pseudonym) and Parker's comic flip-side John Dortmunder. Westlake was quoted as saying that he originally intended what became The Hot Rock to be a straightforward Parker novel, but "It kept turning funny," and thus became the first John Dortmunder novel.
Most of Donald Westlake's novels are set in New York City. In each of the Dortmunder novels, there is typically a detailed foray somewhere through the city. He wrote just two non-fiction books: Under an English Heaven, regarding the unlikely 1967 Anguillan "revolution", and a biography of Elizabeth Taylor.
Westlake was an occasional contributor to science fiction fanzines such as Xero, and used Xero as a venue for a harsh announcement that he was leaving the science fiction field.
Motion pictures and television
Several of Westlake's novels have been made into motion pictures: 1967's Point Blank (based on The Hunter) with Lee Marvin as Parker (changed to Walker); Mise à sac (fr) (based on The Score) with Michel Constantin as Parker (changed to Georges), also in 1967; 1968's The Split (from the book The Seventh) with Jim Brown as Parker (changed to McClain); The Hot Rock in 1972 with Robert Redford; Cops and Robbers in 1973; The Outfit with Robert Duvall as Parker (changed to Macklin), also in 1973; Bank Shot in 1974 with George C. Scott; The Busy Body (with an "all-star cast") in 1967; Slayground with Peter Coyote as Parker (changed to Stone) in 1983; Why Me? with Christopher Lambert, Christopher Lloyd, and J. T. Walsh in 1990; Payback in 1999, the second film made from The Hunter, with Mel Gibson as Parker (changed to Porter); What's the Worst That Could Happen? in 2001 with Martin Lawrence as Dortmunder (changed to Kevin Caffery); Constantin Costa-Gavras adapted The Ax for the European screen in 2005, to great critical and public acclaim – entitled Le Couperet, the film takes place in France and Belgium rather than the novel's setting of New England; Parker in 2013, based on Flashfire, with Jason Statham as Parker.
In his introduction to one of the short stories in Thieves' Dozen, Westlake mentioned legal troubles with Hollywood over his continued use of the Dortmunder novel characters; the movie studios attempted to assert that he had sold the rights to the characters to them permanently as a result of the Redford film.
The novel Jimmy the Kid has been adapted three times: in Italy as Come ti rapisco il pupo (it) in 1976; in the U.S. as Jimmy the Kid in 1982 starring Gary Coleman; and in Germany as Jimmy the Kid in 1998 starring Herbert Knaup.
The novel Two Much! has been adapted twice: in France as Le Jumeau (The Twin) in 1984; and in the U.S. as Two Much in 1995 starring Antonio Banderas and Melanie Griffith.
Jean-Luc Godard's Made in U.S.A. in 1966 was an extremely loose adaptation of The Jugger. Neither the film's producer nor Godard purchased the rights to the novel, so Westlake successfully sued to prevent the film's commercial distribution in the United States.
Westlake was himself a screenwriter. His script for the 1990 film The Grifters, adapted from the novel by Jim Thompson, was nominated for an Academy Award. (Westlake the screenwriter adapted Jim Thompson's work in a straightforward manner, but Westlake the humourist played on Thompson's name later that year in the Dortmunder novel Drowned Hopes by featuring a character named "Tom Jimson" who is a criminal psychopath.) Westlake also wrote the screenplay The Stepfather (from a story by Westlake, Brian Garfield and Carolyn Lefcourt), the film of which was sufficiently popular to receive two sequels and a remake, projects in which Westlake was not involved.
In 1987 Westlake wrote the teleplay Fatal Confession, a pilot for the TV series Father Dowling Mysteries based on the novels by Ralph McInerny. He also appeared in a small role (as the mystery writer Rich Vincent) in the third-season episode, "The Hardboiled Mystery."
While the seventeenth James Bond film GoldenEye was in post-production, Westlake wrote story treatments for the eighteenth James Bond film (eventually titled Tomorrow Never Dies) in collaboration with Bond series writer-producer Michael G. Wilson. None of Westlake's ideas made it into the completed film, but in 1998 the author used the first treatment as the basis for a novel, Fall of the City. The existence of the novel (and its connection to the Bond treatments) was revealed in an article published in issue #32 of the magazine MI6 Confidential; the article also provides a detailed analysis of the two treatments.Fall of the City was published under the title Forever and a Death in June 2017 by Hard Case Crime.
Westlake co-wrote the story for the pilot of the ill-fated 1979 TV series Supertrain with teleplay writer Earl W. Wallace; Westlake and Wallace shared "created by" credit.
|1959||All My Lovers||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1959||Backstage Love||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall||Phil Crawford||Also published as Apprentice Virgin|
|1959||Man Hungry||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1959||Sally||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1960||All About Annette||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1960||All the Girls Were Willing||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall||Phil Crawford||Later printed as What Girls Will Do|
|1960||A Girl Called Honey||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall & Sheldon Lord||A collaboration between Westlake and Lawrence Block|
|1960||The Mercenaries||Random House||Donald E. Westlake||Also published in the UK as The Smashers. Republished in 2009 under Westlake's preferred title, The Cutie.|
|1960||So Willing||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall & Sheldon Lord||A collaboration between Westlake and Lawrence Block|
|1960||Virgin's Summer||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1960||The Wife Next Door||Midwood Books||Alan Marshall|
|1961||Call Me Sinner||Nightstand Books||Alan Marshall|
|1961||Passion's Plaything||Bedside Books||Alan Marshall|
|1961||Off Limits||Bedside Books||Alan Marshall|
|1961||Brother and Sister||Monarch Books||Edwin West|
|1961||Campus Doll||Monarch Books||Edwin West|
|1960||Young and Innocent||Monarch Books||Edwin West|
|1961||Killing Time||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1962||The Hunter||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker||Later published as Point Blank and Payback. First appearance of master thief Parker.|
|1962||361||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1962||Strange Affair||Monarch Books||Edwin West|
|1963||Killy||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1963||Sin Prowl||Corinth Publications||Alan Marshall||Phil Crawford|
|1963||Campus Lovers||Monarch Books||Edwin West|
|1963||The Man with the Getaway Face||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker||Also published in the UK as Steel Hit.|
|1963||The Outfit||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1963||The Mourner||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1963||The Score||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker||Also published in the UK as Killtown.|
|1964||Pity Him Afterwards||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1965||The Fugitive Pigeon||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1965||The Jugger||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1966||The Seventh||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker||Later published as The Split.|
|1966||The Busy Body||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1966||The Handle||Pocket Books||Richard Stark||Parker||Also published in the UK as Run Lethal.|
|1966||The Spy In The Ointment||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1966||Kinds of Love, Kinds of Death||Random House||Tucker Coe||Mitchell Tobin|
|1967||Murder Among Children||Random House||Tucker Coe||Mitchell Tobin|
|1967||The Damsel||Macmillan Publishers||Richard Stark||Grofield|
|1967||The Rare Coin Score||Fawcett Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1967||God Save the Mark||Random House||Donald E. Westlake||Edgar Award winner for Best Novel|
|1967||Philip||Thomas Y. Crowell Co.||Donald E. Westlake|
|1967||Anarchaos||Ace Books||Curt Clark|
|1967||The Green Eagle Score||Fawcett Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1968||Who Stole Sassi Manoon?||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1968||The Black Ice Score||Fawcett Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1969||The Sour Lemon Score||Fawcett Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1969||Somebody Owes Me Money||Random House||Donald E. Westlake|
|1969||Up Your Banners||Lancer Books||Donald E. Westlake|
|1969||The Dame||Macmillan Publishers||Richard Stark||Grofield|
|1969||The Blackbird||Macmillan Publishers||Richard Stark||Grofield|
|1970||The Hot Rock||Simon & Schuster||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder||Originally planned as a non-comic Parker novel; introduces John Dortmunder|
|1970||Adios Scheherazade||Simon & Schuster||Donald E. Westlake|
|1970||Wax Apple||Random House||Tucker Coe||Mitchell Tobin|
|1970||A Jade in Aries||Random House||Tucker Coe||Mitchell Tobin|
|1970||Ex Officio||M. Evans||Timothy J. Culver||Also published under the title Power Play.|
|1971||Lemons Never Lie||World Publishing Company||Richard Stark||Grofield|
|1971||I Gave At The Office||Simon & Schuster||Donald E. Westlake|
|1971||Deadly Edge||Random House||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1971||Slayground||Random House||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1972||Bank Shot||Simon & Schuster||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1972||Cops and Robbers||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1972||Don't Lie To Me||Random House||Tucker Coe||Mitchell Tobin|
|1972||Plunder Squad||Random House||Richard Stark||Parker||Crosses over with the 1972 Joe Gores novel Dead Skip|
|1973||Comfort Station||Signet Books||J. Morgan Cunningham|
|1973||Gangway!||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake and Brian Garfield|
|1974||Butcher's Moon||Random House||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1974||Help, I Am Being Held Prisoner||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1974||Jimmy the Kid||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder||Includes chapters from an otherwise non-existent novel by Richard Stark entitled Child Heist.|
|1975||Two Much||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1975||Brothers Keepers||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1976||Dancing Aztecs||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1977||Nobody's Perfect||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1980||Castle In The Air||M. Evans||Donald E. Westlake|
|1981||Kahawa||Viking Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1983||Why Me?||Viking Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1984||A Likely Story||Penzler Books||Donald E. Westlake|
|1985||High Adventure||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1985||Good Behavior||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1986||One of Us is Wrong||Tor Books||Samuel Holt||Sam Holt|
|1986||I Know a Trick Worth Two of That||Tor Books||Samuel Holt||Sam Holt|
|1987||What I Tell You Three Times is False||Tom Doherty Associates||Samuel Holt||Sam Holt|
|1988||Trust Me On This||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Sara Joslyn|
|1989||Sacred Monster||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1989||The Fourth Dimension Is Death||Tom Doherty Associates||Samuel Holt||Sam Holt|
|1990||Drowned Hopes||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder||Crosses over with the 1992 Joe Gores novel 32 Cadillacs|
|1991||The Perfect Murder: Five Great Mystery Writers Create the Perfect Crime||HarperCollins||Jack Hitt with Lawrence Block, Sarah Caudwell, Tony Hillerman, Peter Lovesey, Donald E. Westlake||Collaborative novel, devised and edited by Hitt. Westlake contributes two chapters.|
|1992||Humans||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1993||Don't Ask||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1994||Baby, Would I Lie?||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Sara Joslyn|
|1995||Smoke||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1996||What's The Worst That Could Happen?||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|1997||The Ax||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|1997||Comeback||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|1998||Backflash||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2000||The Hook||Warner Books||Donald E. Westlake||Published in the UK as Corkscrew|
|2000||Flashfire||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2001||Firebreak||Warner Books||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2001||Bad News||Warner Books||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|2002||Put a Lid on it||Warner Books||Donald E. Westlake|
|2002||Breakout||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2002||The Scared Stiff||Carroll & Graf Publishers||Judson Jack Carmichael||Published in the UK as by Donald E. Westlake|
|2003||Money For Nothing||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake|
|2004||The Road to Ruin||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|2004||Nobody Runs Forever||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2005||Watch Your Back!||Mysterious Press||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|2006||Ask the Parrot||Mysterious Press||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2007||What's So Funny?||Warner Books||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|2008||Dirty Money||Grand Central Publishing||Richard Stark||Parker|
|2009||Get Real||Grand Central Publishing||Donald E. Westlake||Dortmunder|
|2010||Memory||Hard Case Crime||Donald E. Westlake||Written in the 1960s, published posthumously.|
|2012||The Comedy Is Finished||Hard Case Crime||Donald E. Westlake||Written in the early 1980s, published posthumously.|
|2017||Forever and a Death||Hard Case Crime||Donald E. Westlake||Written in 1998, published posthumously.|
- The Curious Facts Preceding My Execution (1968)
- Enough! ("A Travesty" & "Ordo") (1977)
- Levine (1984)
- Tomorrow's Crimes (1989), includes the novel Anarchaos
- Horse Laugh and Other Stories (1991)
- The Parker Omnibus, Volume 1 (1997), published in UK, containing The Man with the Getaway Face,The Outfit, and The Deadly Edge.
- The Parker Omnibus, Volume 2 (1999), published in UK, containing The Split (alternate name for The Seventh), The Score, and The Handle.
- A Good Story and Other Stories (1999)
- Thieves' Dozen (2004), a collection of ten Dortmunder short stories and one related story.
- Transgressions (2005), Ed McBain-edited collection of 10 novellas, including Westlake's Dortmunder novella "Walking Around Money"
- Elizabeth Taylor: A Fascinating Story of America's Most Talented Actress and the World's Most Beautiful Woman (1961, as "John B. Allan")
- Under an English Heaven (1972)
- The Getaway Car: A Donald Westlake Nonfiction Miscellany (2014) ISBN 9780226121819
- The Score (1965–1967) – screenplay based on Westlake's Richard Stark novel (later adapted as Alain Cavalier's Mise à sac)
- Murder at the Vanities (1990–1991) – mystery stage musical; libretto by Westlake, music and lyrics by Donald Oliver & David Spencer
- God's Pocket (1996–1997) – screenplay based on the Pete Dexter novel (later adapted as God's Pocket (film))
- Maximum Bob – screenplay based on the Elmore Leonard novel (later adapted as a TV series, Maximum Bob)
- Arms of Nemesis – screenplay based on the novel by Steven Saylor
- Absolute Faith – original screenplay co-written with Ghasem Ebrahimian
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-06-06. Retrieved 2014-05-09.
- ^New York Times Obituary Accessed January 1, 2009
- ^ abcdefghij"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-04-04. Retrieved 2007-03-26.
- ^ abcde"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2009-02-03.
- ^"Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-26. Retrieved 2010-09-05.
- ^ abchttp://efanzines.com/EK/eI13/index.htm#westlake
- ^Westlake, Donald. "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" and responses by Frederik Pohl, Donald Wollheim, Harry Warner, Jr., Steve Stiles and others, reprinted in: Lupoff, Richard A., & Pat Lupoff. The Best of Xero. Tachyon Publications, 2004. pp. 120 et seq.
- ^Poggiali, Philip. "Fall of the City: Bond 18 and Westlake." MI6 Confidential, no. 32, 2015, pp. 22-26.
- ^Egan, Sean. Ponies & Rainbows: The Life of James Kirkwood. Albany, GA: BearManor Media, 2015.
- ^ abhttp://hgar-srv3.bu.edu/collections/collection?id=122960