Listen to the new Naptown podcast with Susan Neville

In these 10 episodes you’ll hear how my life intersected with major figures and events of the late 20th century.

Naptown podcast Season One cover

Last year I sat down with fellow writer Susan Neville to talk about my life and working as a writer from the 1950s on.

In these 10 episodes you’ll hear the stories. The interviews were conducted at Butler University’s Irwin Library and on my front porch on Northview Avenue in Indianapolis. They were finished in May, 2020, the week before my 88th birthday.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

These podcasts were made possible by grants from Indiana Humanities, the Ayres Fund of Butler University, and the Demia Butler Chair Fund.

A Dominique Weldon, Rory Deshner Production

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“Going All the Way” turns 50

Kara Kavensky, writing at The Towne Post:

50 Years of GATW

In 1970, Dan Wakefield’s novel “Going All The Way” was published. More than 20 years later, it was adapted into a screenplay and movie starring Jeremy Davies, Ben Affleck and Rachel Weiss. This month marks a golden anniversary for the book.

The movie was released just before “Good Will Hunting”, and was one of Affleck’s early movies. At the time, Wakefield was able to get Affleck to voice the audiobook.

“Going All The Way” is a novel that almost wasn’t. When Wakefield initially pitched his idea for the novel to his publishers, he was met with strong discouragement. Their reaction only fueled his desire to see it through. 

“I was taken to a famous restaurant and told that I was a journalist, not a novelist,” Wakefield says.

Continue reading at The Towne Post

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Charles Webb Enters Heaven

My latest post at CounterPunch is now online:

Charles Webb, author of The Graduate (an identity that dogged and bedeviled him his whole life). died a few days ago at age 81. I met Charles in early 1970, shortly after the release of his second novel, The Marriage of a Young Stockbroker. I was waiting for my own novel to come out that summer and decided as a way to stop obsessing about it I would help promote the work of some other writers whose work I admired. Like nearly everyone of my generation, I had been hypnotized by the movie of The Graduate, and when I read the novel I realized all the producers of the movie had to do for a script was transcribe the dialogue of the novel (not an ordinary formula.)

The sale of Webb’s novel to Hollywood was modest, and after it became one of the biggest grossing films of its time, I was told that director Mike Nichols had sent Webb a check for $5,000. Novelist and screenwriter John Gregory Dunne told me when he reported that tidbit: “that was like giving Charles Webb a tip.” Other writers would have screamed, or sued. But Webb didn’t want the money anyway.

I called Webb and his wife Eve answered, explaining it would take a few moments to get Charles to the phone.

“He’s outside on the front lawn,” she said, “eating the grass.”

Read the whole piece over at CounterPunch.org

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Dan Wakefield

Dan Wakefield