RARA-AVIS: Re: Chester Himes Plus More

From: T. Kent Morgan ( tkmorgan@shaw.ca)
Date: 19 Jul 2007

Another biography of Chester Himes is titled The Several Lives of Chester Himes. The authors are Edward Margolies Professor Emeritus at the City University of New York, and Michel Fabre of the Sorbonne. It's sitting on my crime reference shelf, but I haven't read it.

I enjoyed the piece on Black writers. I had Trick Baby sitting on a shelf behind my desk since I found it a few months ago, but didn't realize it was Iceberg Slim's first novel. My 1969 PB copy promotes "a major motion picture" starring Kiel Martin and Mel Stewart. Anyone seen it?

I've been watching for Lionel White books since reading about him in a 2004 piece about pulp writers by Ed Gorman on his old blog Ed's Place. In that piece he said that White's Clean Break was turned into the classic noir film The Killing that was mentioned in recent posts. Didn't find Clean Break, but invested 25 cents in The Merriweather File. Also got a copy of Peter Gunn by Henry Kane with Craig Stevens on the cover. My third two-bit investment was Chicago City of Sin, a collection of crime journalism published in 1962.

To top the day off, the new Ken Bruen novel, Cross, featuring Irish PI Jack Taylor, was delivered to me this morning by a visitor from England. Also in the package was Cathi Unsworth's second novel titled The Singer. I loved her first crime novel, The Not Knowing. Bruen said Derek Raymond "is reincarnated in Cathi Unsworth" and that "I haven't been as excited by a new writer since I first read Ellroy or stumbled across the very first James Sallis." David Peace also raved about both novels. Anyone on the list read Unsworth? Maybe John Williams?

Kent Morgan

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