Rex Pickett’s New Book Weaves Together Murder, Mystery and Library Archives

Best known for his Academy Award-winning adapted screenplay “Sideways,” author Rex Pickett is out with a new book. The UC San Diego alumnus, who graduated in 1976, sets his latest work in a fictional Geisel Library. “The Archivist” is a murder mystery that takes a deep dive into the inner workings of the process of archiving one’s life’s work.

Pickett’s idea for his new book came after he donated his own archive of 50 boxes to UCSD’s Special Collections.

“I thought they were just going to write ‘Pickett’ on the boxes and put them somewhere,” he said. Years later he was surprised to see how his materials were handled.

“I saw my collection and my whole life was there in these gray document boxes…so lovingly and wonderfully processes and organized. I met the woman who processed my papers and thought ‘wow, this is an interesting world.’”

He said no one had written about archivists so he thought he could do it, and the story grew from there.

Pickett talks about the archiving process with UCSD University Librarian Emeritus Brian Schottlaender, Rutgers University Digital Archivist Caryn Radick, and UCSD’s University Librarian Erik Mitchell.

Watch Author Talk Series: A Conversation with Rex Pickett.

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