Re: RARA-AVIS: inspiring books

Bill Hagen (
Sat, 13 Feb 1999 21:48:39 -0600 (CST) paul duncan writes,

>I wondered if anybody knows of other books which so singularly inspired a
>writer to write?

I can think of two cases: there's the story by Earle Stanley Gardner that
Raymond Chandler kept writing and rewriting from memory to learn his craft
before he wrote "Blackmailers Don't Shoot."

And, in doing some background work on Dorothy B. Hughes, I came across her
account of reading and rereading Eric Ambler's _The Coffin for Demetrios_ .
Her decision to turn to mysteries "was born within its covers." Her
first, _The So Blue Marble_ (1940), however, seems to owe more to _The
Maltese Falcon_ (which she doesn't mention), especially for the valuable
object that is a fake. But her first solid work in noir (?), _The Fallen
Sparrow_ (1942), is dedicated to Ambler, "2nd Lieutenant, Royal Artillery,
somewhere in England, because he has no book this year."

A nice 'tip of the hat" to her mentor, I thought.

Bill Hagen

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