Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy birthday, Helen Eustis.

Helen Eustis, best known for the Edgar-winning academic mystery The Horizontal Man (1946), was born today in Cincinnati in 1916. She followed up The Horizontal Man with The Fool Killer (1954; film 1965), about an ax murderer, and a collection of short stories, The Captains and the Kings Depart (1949). One story, "A Winter's Tale," appeared in EQMM in April 1986. She also was known for her work as a translator and for a children's book, Mr. Death and the Redheaded Woman (1983).

Eustis was the second wife of Smith poet-professor Alfred Young Fisher (whose first wife was M.F.K. Fisher); versions of him and fellow professor Newton Arvin appear in The Horizontal Man.


Anonymous said...

Are you in touch with Ms. Eustis? A couple years ago I tracked her down. She was very kind, and inscribed my copy of the underrated story collection, The Captains and the Kings Depart, which included a couple of O. Henry award-winners.

I hope she is well. She was a very fine writer.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Helen Eustis is reported to have died in California in her mid-eighties.

I'm glad to hear of your high opinion of _The Captains and the Kings Depart_; that is one book that I would like to read.

Robbie said...


I'm a fan of Ms. Eustis and really wish to recreate her "The Fool Killer" in a graphic novel I'd like to produce. I'm a southern artist and really feel that her story is easily one of the best pieces of Southern Gothic ever written. My trouble is I don't know where to begin to contact the copyright holders of her works. Her works have been out of print for decades and I have no idea if her family has the rights or a publishing company someplace.

Any pointing me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.

Alas, I am also very sorry to hear of her passing. I found a blog post earlier stating she was still alive. Sad to hear otherwise.

Anyways that's for the info in advance.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Helen Eustis's son is Adam Genkaku Fisher. His blog is here:

Anonymous said...

Helen Eustis is still alive. I know a neighbor of hers in New York.

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Adam Genkaku Fisher, the son of Helen Eustis, confirms: Helen Eustis is still with us at age 91.