Best-selling author Trevanian

S. Sweetnam of Rockport, Mass., asks, 'Whatever happened to ...?'

Back in print: after a 15-year

absence, Trevanian reappeared in

1998 with this novel.

Trevanian was the pen name for the author of such international bestsellers as 1972's "The Eiger Sanction" (later a movie starring Clint Eastwood), "The Loo Sanction" (1973), "Shibumi" (1979), and "The Summer of Katya" (1983). The elusive author made it known that he felt his anonymity was essential to writing the popular action novels. (The mystery, some noted, didn't hurt book sales, either.)

Trevanian's identity stirred much speculation among his fans. But after "Katya" was published in 1983, Trevanian disappeared from the literary world for 15 years. He emerged last October with another bestseller, "Incident at Twenty-Mile."

Still anonymous, but also giving interviews, Trevanian said he had kept writing in the interim, using different names. (Some say two novels by "Nicholas Seare" are Trevanian's.)

Today there is little debate about the author's identity: Rod Whitaker is a former film professor at the University of Texas at Austin who left his post in the 1970s.

When contacted, Trevanian's publicist declined to confirm this, or the report that his client now lives and works in France and England.

If you wonder 'Whatever happened to...' write us at: One Norway Street,

Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail: whatever@csmonitor.com

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