Author Topic: Emma Lathen, 1991, East is East  (Read 1458 times)

Hannah Adams

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Emma Lathen, 1991, East is East
« on: August 14, 2020, 01:48:12 am »
I have a couple old Emma Lathen books and I was going to read another one first. This one isn't even 20 years old but it seemed a lot older. It is set in Tokyo and New York City, and part of it is set in London and Birmingham, England. It isn't very politically correct, but in that respect it's not as bad as it might have been. I had a little trouble following it, due to the large cast of characters. It was dated but still interesting.

At the end of the book was a detail I didn't know. It said: "Emma Lathen is the pen name shared by Mary Jane Latsis, an economist, and Martha Heniddart, a lawyer. Their first book togetheer was published in 1961."

I'm not sure what I'll read next. I'm still reading old books I already have. Can't afford new books right now. I guess it will be eeny-meeny-miney-moe, since there are a couple books that sound good right now. I miss going to the library!

Becke Davis

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
    • View Profile
Re: Emma Lathen, 1991, East is East
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2020, 01:40:14 pm »
I have a couple old Emma Lathen books and I was going to read another one first. This one isn't even 20 years old but it seemed a lot older. It is set in Tokyo and New York City, and part of it is set in London and Birmingham, England. It isn't very politically correct, but in that respect it's not as bad as it might have been. I had a little trouble following it, due to the large cast of characters. It was dated but still interesting.

At the end of the book was a detail I didn't know. It said: "Emma Lathen is the pen name shared by Mary Jane Latsis, an economist, and Martha Heniddart, a lawyer. Their first book togetheer was published in 1961."

I'm not sure what I'll read next. I'm still reading old books I already have. Can't afford new books right now. I guess it will be eeny-meeny-miney-moe, since there are a couple books that sound good right now. I miss going to the library!

Goodreads has mostly good reviews for EAST IS EAST: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/818680.East_Is_East?from_search=true&from_srp=true&qid=iXjYM6d2na&rank=5

I remember she had a lot of best sellers back in the day. I can't remember which were my favorites, but I know I read some of them.

A Google search came up with some popular ones:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/936079.Murder_to_Go

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/936074.When_in_Greece

I can't find a list of her best sellers, but Wikipedia did provide more biographical information:

"Emma Lathen is the pen name of two American businesswomen: economic analyst Mary Jane Latsis (July 12, 1927 – October 29, 1997) and attorney Martha Henissart (born 1929). The pseudonym is constructed from two authors' names:[1] "M" of Mary and "Ma" of Martha, plus "Lat" of Latsis and "Hen" of Henissart.

Henissart and Latsis met as graduate students at Harvard,[2] where Henissart studied law and Latsis studied economics and public administration.[3][4] Latsis grew up in Chicago and graduated from Wellesley College.[3] Henissart received her B.A. in physics from Mount Holyoke College in 1950.[5][4] Latsis worked for the CIA and the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization and taught economics at her alma mater, Wellesley College. Henissart practiced law in New York and then returned to the Boston area to become the chief legal counsel for Raytheon. When they began writing mysteries in the early 1960s they decided to use a pseudonym and maintain the secret of their identities to avoid any conflict with employers and clients.[4] Their identities as co-authors of the popular Lathen books remained a secret until 1977.[1][4]

As Lathen, they wrote 24 mystery novels starring John Putnam Thatcher, a Wall Street banker. According to Latsis, “We decided on a banker because there is nothing on God’s earth a banker can’t get into.”[4] They also wrote under the pseudonym R. B. Dominic; the 7 Dominic stories feature Congressman Benton Safford as the sleuth. Each book features events in a specific industry or activity with which Thatcher or Safford become involved in the course of their work. The books often refer to specific public events in their plotting; for example, When in Greece is mostly set in that country during the Colonels' Revolution,[3] and Going for the Gold involves the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid. Others relate to more general social and other trends, such as Death Shall Overcome[1] which links with the Civil Rights Movement.[4]

For each book they determined the basic structure and major characters, then wrote alternate chapters, with Latsis writing the first chapter, and Henissart the last. They would then do a joint rewrite to eliminate inconsistencies or conflicts.[4]

At the time of Latsis' death in 1997, the duo were eighty percent through a new book using the setting of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but Henissart elected not to finish it.[4]"

Hannah Adams

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 81
    • View Profile
Re: Emma Lathen, 1991, East is East
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2020, 08:34:55 pm »
I was going to read another Emma Lathen mystery but ended up reading something different this time. Maybe I'll go back and read that one next. So hard to decide what to read!

Becke Davis

  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 798
    • View Profile
Re: Emma Lathen, 1991, East is East
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2020, 01:48:57 am »
I was going to read another Emma Lathen mystery but ended up reading something different this time. Maybe I'll go back and read that one next. So hard to decide what to read!

I've been trying to get my hands on a couple Emma Lathen books I remember reading years ago. One was called BY HOOK OR BY CROOK, another is ASHES TO ASHES. I wish I had saved them. If I did, I did a good job of hiding them from myself!