THE CIRCLE GAME, Joel Lieber, Simon & Schuster, 1970.
Savant, fan, critic, and all-round genius Jess Nevins did a neat blog post recently about the fleeting nature of literary fame:
For most writers operating in the early part of the twentieth century, the process of fading into oblivion is well under way. But even those midlist working hacks of a mere 35 years ago are already up to their chins in the quicksands of all-devouring entropy. Consider today's case, Joel Lieber.
Scouting around the internet, we find only the barest scraps of biographical information on him, such as this:
Lieber, Joel 1936–1971
Lieber was an American novelist, critic, and screenwriter. (See also Contemporary Authors, obituary, Vols. 29-32.)
Sometimes the marketplace can function inadvertently as a historical archive, though. Turning to Abebooks, we can start to assemble a kind of bibliography for the man, although dates are approximate, based on what might not be first editions.
HOW THE FISHES LIVE, 1967
AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: A MODERN GUIDE TO SEX, SECURITY AND THE SOFT BUCK, 1968
[Appears to be non-fiction, with JL as editor.]
DEEP BLUE, 1968
THE CHAIR, 1969
THE CIRCLE GAME, 1970
TWO-WAY TRAFFIC, 1972
So Lieber lived a mere 35 years. At age 31 he published his first book, and was fairly prolific till his death. His novel MOVE! even became a film with big-name stars, which Lieber scripted.
Here's the cover to the tie-in edition:
THE CIRCLE GAME--a novel about an academic who's wronged a writer, and the writer's revenge through "a bizarre scene of drugs and psychosexual encounters"--comes with a nice blurb from THE SATURDAY REVIEW, a top-notch journal of the time which we discussed once before.
Yet in 2007, all this accomplishment avails naught. Lieber and his reputation are as non-existent as Ozymandias.