Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Avallone mss., 1962-1984, consist of letters from author Robert Albert Bloch, 1917-1999, in Los Angeles, California, to writer Michael Avallone, 1924-1994, in New Jersey. Both authors have had very productive careers and have published under various pseudonyms as well as their own names. Bloch has produced numerous screenplays, television series scripts, novels, and short stories, and works predominantly in the science fiction and mystery fields, concentrating on macabre or horror tales. His most famous work is the 1959 novel Psycho, on which the 1960 Alfred Hitchcock film was based.

In his letters to Avallone, Bloch describes, and laments, the inconveniences of making one's living as a professional writer, and the precariousness of the writer's market. He also offers frequent and cogent comments on films and film stars, both fiction and non-fiction books, various science fiction and mystery writers conventions, Avallone's productivity, and current events.

Other items in the collection include two cards from Bloch's wife Eleanor to Avallone, copies of two letters from Bloch to Morgan Wilson, one of which carries an appended note from Wilson to Avallone, and three letters from Avallone to Bloch.

There is a chronological list of letters in the Vertical File, accompanied by an explication for the assignment of some of the dates.

Acquired: 1985

Collection size: 404 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.