Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Lost Manuscript

I can still hear the tap-tap-tap of the portable electric typewriter keys as they struck the paper and the ding as the carriage neared the completion of another sentance ..... it was a work in progress, typing and re-typing the story that wanted to be told but Frances never finished her story.

Before the days of Xerox and Kinkos the only way to produce a copy of a typed record was to insert carbon paper behind the front sheet which would have contained the original key strokes.
Frances started working on her book the year I was expected into this world. Not too long after Elizabeth Bentley and Whittaker Chambers had both published their accounts of their lives as communists in the underground.

There was a manuscript produced, indeed there where probably two versions of the manuscript at one time and at least one was sent off for a publishers review. The manuscript was sent but was never printed or returned .... it whereabouts remained a mystery until now.
A Google search of grandfathers name a few months ago yielded a link to the unpublished manuscript.

I nearly fell off of my chair when I read the title: "Time and Chance: The Autobiography of Frances DeLawder." Having read a copy of the much rumored manuscript only recently upon the death of my mother it was more than surprizing to find it listed in the WorldCat.

After sending off a few emails in the early morning hours I was filled with anticipation. Where could this manuscript be after all of these years? The next morning I found my answer waiting in my inbox ... the manuscript landed in the library of the CIA.  It has been rumored that parts of this manuscript have been borrowed but thanks to the wonders of the internet it has been located.

Time and Chance: An Autobiography of Frances DeLawder


 

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