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A team effort

Reached at his Miami home, Les Standiford commented on the genesis of The Putt at the End of the World:

"In the spring of 1999, I was approached by Warner's Rob McMahon, who wanted to do a serial novel about golf with an eye toward the Father's Day, 2000, market. Rob wanted to see authors reflecting a more national makeup than was the case with Naked Came the Manatee, a Florida-interest serial novel to which I was a contributor. He also wanted authors who were themselves golfers, which requirement was technically met."

Technically?

"All of the contributors have at least held a club.

Dave Barry hosts a yearly charity tournament and James W. Hall and I have played a couple times, so they got on board early. James Crumley and I used to have a regular _ highly irregular is more accurate _ Friday game when we were both in Texas, so he was a natural choice. Dave mentioned Ridley Pearson as an occasional golfer, and Ridley in turn suggested Tami Hoag. Lee K. Abbott and I had appeared in a golf anthology titled Perfect Lies about 10 years ago, and Tim O'Brien signed on during his last book tour. When Richard Bausch, one of the funniest men I know, admitted to having played the game, we had our nine."

What did the writing process entail?

"Each contributor had two weeks to read what had been written, add his or her section, and return it to me to be forwarded to the next writer. We started in June, with a September deadline, so there were some anxious moments on my part, but everyone _ professionals all _ came in ahead of schedule with work of uniformly high quality. The people involved made the project both a success and a pleasure."

_ PAUL A. BERGIN

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