Radio Wolinsky

Andrew Vachss (1942-2021), 1991

Andrew Vachss (1942-December 27, 2021), author of several noir novels that focus on child abuse and child sexual abuse, in conversation for Probabilities with hosts Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff, recorded June 27, 1991 in the KPFA studios while he was on tour for his novel Sacrifice.

The nineteen eighties and nineties presented an explosion of noir and detective fiction, led by such stalwarts as Elmore Leonard, Robert B. Parker, Sue Grafton, James Ellroy, Sara Paretsky … the list goes on. Among those first rate practitioners, was Andrew Vachss, who died on December 27th, 2021 at the age of 79.

In Vachss’ early novels, which all featured a protagonist named Burke, he established not merely a unique character with a unique background and unusual associates, but a way to bring the public’s attention to child abuse, and particularly child sexual abuse.

He hit the pavement running with Flood in 1985 and followed that novel with Strega, Blue Belle, Hard Candy and Blossom, before Sacrifice and the book tour that led to this interview. This podcast is the first airing of the complete discussion, and was digitized and edited on January 7th, 2022.

To date, none of Andrew Vacchs novels have hit film or television (though IMDDb does list a short film from 1995). At the time of his death, Andrew Vacches had written a total of eighteen Burke novels, culminating in Another Life in 2008, nine additional novels, five collections of short stories, nine more comics and graphic novels, along with three plays. A film from one of his Cross novels was in the conversation in recent years, but no new information is forthcoming. Richard A. Lupoff and Richard Wolinsky would interview him once more, in 1995, while he was on tour for his novel, Footsteps of the Hawk.

Andrew Vachss Wikipedia page