Re: RARA-AVIS: Strange but true.....(Skinner, Sallis and other stuff)

Robert E. Skinner (
Wed, 20 Jan 1999 15:58:51 -0600 wrote:
> Having read our Bob Skinner's new book I was surprised to
> come across a bit in "Balck Hornet" by Jim Sallis in which
> one character - who presents as white - is, in fact, black.
> This is also a key plot ploy in our Bob's book. Now, either this
> is a "New Orleans" theme or our Bob read Salllis and thought
> "Now there's an idea for a book"? >

Thanks for all those kind words. Now I'll tell you a strange, true
fact. Jim and I, working at different ends of the country, discovered
Chester Himes, fell into a continuous enthralled state, and almost at
the same time began writing different kinds of novels about a black New
Orleans sleuth. Where we tend to part company is that Jim, a true
intellectual and more widely read than God, tends to take most of his
influence from French existentialists. Most of mine comes from Himes,
Donald Hamilton, a snippet of C. L. Moore, Leslie Charteris, and a dash
of Tennessee Williams. Pretty wierd, huh?

To top it all off, we didn't even meet each other until the year The
Long-Legged Fly came out and I discovered he was temporarily living in
New Orleans, not more than a few blocks from me. I knew him as a Himes
scholar, having read, absorbed, and cataloged his work in a massive
Himes bibliography I did in the early '90s with the French Himes
scholar, Michel Fabre. And that's the whole story.

Robert E. Skinner, Director
Xavier University of Louisiana Library
7325 Palmetto Street
New Orleans, LA 70125
(504) 483-7303 (voice)
(504) 485-7917 (FAX)
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