When Dedications Go Awry

Jumping off from this weekend’s piece about dedications by Edward Docx, Ed Gorman reflects on what happens when a book is reissued 10 or 20 years after pub date – and the dedications no longer work the way they used to:

To my wonderful wife Nadia

Update: Did you have to get a restraining order against me and humiliate me in front of the whole bowling team?

—   To my all-time favorite editor Cliff Knotes, one of the most decent, perceptive people
I’ve ever known.

Update: Remember when you wouldn’t give me a contract for the novel that went on to win the Edgar, the Shamus, the Anthony and the Donald Trump Humanitarian awards? No wonder you raced out of the Edgar banquet as soon as my name was announced. I woulda been ashamed, too.

—   Dedicated to Alfred E. Noonan the finest friend and and collaborator a writer could ask for.

Update: You sonofabitch, you got lucky with that punch you threw last time I saw you in Chicago. Next time I’m putting you right where you belong–right on your fat ass..

Boy, is it ever thus. I’m equal parts amused and bemused when I read a book by a writer and it’s dedicated to a previous significant other, husband or someone who is not only not in their life but departed it in acrimonious fashion. Of course, all of those “updates” are why dedications continue to fascinate me.