gerald kersh: a neglected writer of ghosts, monsters, Shakespeare, mermaids and Martians

Gerald_Kersh_370576hDavid Collard at the Times Literary Supplement:

“No mortal can write this well” marvels Harlan Ellison in his introduction to Nightshade and Damnations – nor, one might add, this much. Gerald Kersh was astonishingly prolific, hammering out twenty novels, twenty collections of short stories and thousands of articles in different publications, hacking pseudonymously as Piers England, Waldo Kellar, Mr Chickery, Joe Twist, George Munday, and others. He is a bibliographer’s nightmare – or dream. Born into a Jewish family in Teddington, South-west London, in 1911, he became an American citizen in 1959 and died in New York in 1968, by which point he had largely been forgotten. These reissues are signs of a revival of interest in this strange and compelling writer whose ramshackle cv included stints as a cinema manager, bodyguard, debt collector, fish frier, travelling salesman, teacher of French and all-in-wrestler. His literary career likewise avoided any taint of respectability. He was a mainstay of popular periodicals such as John O’London’s Weekly, Argosy and Lilliput, specializing in tales of war, freakishness, horror and science fiction.

more here.