My Father’s Chair (short) (1951) – The Vincentian

My Father’s Chair and Veronica are the earliest published Westlake stories in Don’s personal collection. In May of 1951, Don was still two months shy of his eighteenth birthday. He was the author of two short stories in his high school’s literary publication, The Vincentian, as well as one of two literary editors for the magazine. The two stories represent what is likely the very first Westlake stories ever published. Click on the gallery to read the story in full in its original form. You can also see the cover, title, contents and attribution pages, as well as messages from friends written in the margins. This wasn’t the yearbook for the school but Don appears to have treated it as such to some degree. And why not?


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2 thoughts on “My Father’s Chair (short) (1951) – The Vincentian

  1. This is such a poignant story. Is it autobiographical? It’s all the more meaningful to consider it was posted posthumously by the son of the man wrote it — most of us sons know what it’s like to sit in our father’s chair. Thank you so much for sharing this important piece.

    1. Paul,

      I didn’t know about this story until after Don passed. If I had, I would have asked him. I’ll see if someone else knows the answer.

      One thing I can say is that I don’t believe Don had the kind of relationship with his sister, Virginia, that’s depicted in this story. He was the older, more protective brother and she was the younger, more considerate sister. Also, at the age Don wrote this story, Virginia would probably have been too young to be going out on dates. There may be a kernel of truth to the circumstance but I doubt this is truly autobiographical.

      But you’re right about the odd poignancy of this story being published on the internet by the adult son of the boy who wrote it so many years before. :)


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