Re: RARA-AVIS: Chester Himes

Date: 24 Apr 2001

The short story collection is a good read. I remember sitting above Shakespeare & Co. in Paris reading it.

Outside of the Harlem domestics, many writers, like Sallis and Willeford, suggest that either The Lonely Crusade or The End of the Primitive are his best work. If He Hollers Let Him Go, his first published novel, is a personal favourite of mine. A noir set up in the ship-building yards of Los Angeles during WWII.

Yesterday Will Make You Cry, the unexpurgated version of Cast the First Stone and his first novel, is semiautobigraphical account of his time in prison. It shows how writing became a way of getting beyond the walls that confined him.


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