Help solve a Noir mystery!
May 18, 2010 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Help solve Noir mystery! Looking for info on P J Wolfson author of the noir novel Bodies are Dust (1931).

A photograph would be great! Before Pincus J Wolfson went to work for Hollywood as a screenwriter and later as a producer for television ( I Married Joan), he wrote an excellent noir novel called Bodies Are Dust. The novel is not well known in the United States, but has been made into a movie in France and has been reprinted several times in Europe.

Not much is known about him besides his work done for film and television. PJ died in 1979 in Woodland Hills (L.A.), California. His pen name was PJ but was also known as "Pinkie" or "Pinky" in Hollywood. He was married to Joan V Lorish in Los Angeles in 1956. Divorced in 1966. Before getting hired to write screenplays and moving out west, he lived in Brooklyn as a clerk/accountant. In New York, he had a nephew born in 1929 by the name of Robert Hoffman who was the son of his younger sister Dora Hoffman. Robert Hoffman or Joan may still be living.
posted by Zipf to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Here is a link to a search for Bodies are Dust on the Rara Avis mailing list archives. I don't have time to go through them myself right now, but if anyone will know anything about it, it will be someone on Rara Avis. He's apparently in print in Germany, maybe someone at the publisher will be able to tell you more. Good luck.
posted by dortmunder at 11:56 AM on May 18, 2010

Response by poster: Thats some good info. I'm hoping that someone connected to film television in the 50's or 60's out in Los Angeles has something. I actually contacted Sherwood Schwartz who worked with him on I Married Joan. He had an anecdote about talking with PJ about the HUAC trails and offered a short description of him. Mr Schwartz said he really didn't know that much about him though and added that he had no idea "Pinky" had written a book. BTW, Sherwood Schwartz is an incredible nice man.
posted by Zipf at 12:11 PM on May 18, 2010

Response by poster: Found more info and a photograph. There is a grainy newspaper photo in the July 8, 1934 edition of the Los Angeles Times page A7 along with a book review of IS MY FLESH OF BRASS? Quote:"The latest Hemingwayesque creation of P.J. Wolfson is just competent enough to deserve rapping."

Found it through the Google News Archive Search.

I'll post the photo along with two other screenwriters with links to PJ, Charles Grayson and Allen Rivkin, at

With a lot more research, the mystery will be solved. But for now, I'm closing this post.
posted by Zipf at 9:35 AM on June 2, 2010

If a friend hadn't told me of this interest in my Uncle Pink, I would have remained oblivious to it. Much of what I have read here is factually correct, some is not. Some is news to me so I cannot make comment.

I have absolutely no way to verify the familial relationship I claim to have with PJ Wolfson. However, at age 65, I am not given to misrepresent myself on any matter.

Unless I misunderstood the reference to Dora Hoffman, she was NOT a younger sister or sister-in-law for that matter. There were five siblings in the family - Henry, Pink, Naomi, Sam (my father) and Rose.

If others are still watching/visiting this site, I will provide further information if requested.
posted by jnwlfsn at 7:15 AM on September 19, 2010

Re: Pinc Wolfson: I just received 2 pictures of high quality and they are now in digital format.

Jon Wolfson (nephew)
posted by jnwlfsn at 8:22 AM on January 7, 2011

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