World’s Most-Rejected Novelist Dick Wimmer Dies at 74

Agoura Hills writer Dick Wimmer, whose debut novel Irish Wine was rejected 162 times over a span of two decades before finally being published in 1989, died last week of heart problems. He was 74. The LA Times ran a nice obit of Wimmer, whose book was widely praised across America once it finally made it to print–but not before his publishing struggles made the Guiness Book of World Records.

From the Times:

At the time, his closest official competition was Steven Goldberg’s “The Inevitability of Patriarchy,” which sold after 69 rejections, the Guinness Book of World Records told The Times in 1989. …

The idea for “Irish Wine” came to Wimmer during his early 1960s honeymoon. After the book’s 80th or so rejection, he streamlined the story that he always believed was good enough to be published, he said in the 1989 Times interview.

Wimmer went on to write two more well-reviewed novels, as well as the screenplay for the TV movie The Million-Dollar Infield.