Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett: 1921-1960
List Price: $29.95
"Laden with the pain, exhilaration, and humor of [its] remarkable composer." —Boston Sunday Globe
DASHIELL HAMMETT (1894-1961) is the author of Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man.
RICHARD LAYMAN is the author of Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett and the vice president of Bruccoli Clark Layman, a publisher of reference works in literature.
JULIE M. RIVETT is the granddaughter of Dashiell Hammett.
“Laden with the pain, exhilaration, and humor of [its] remarkable composer.” —Boston Sunday Globe
“The letters illuminate the amazing texture of Hammett’s life (from his well-paid Hollywood years to the joyful patriotism of his WWII service to his searing decline due to Red baiting) and writing (from prolific pulp contributor to innovator of popular, violent novels like Red Harvest). They also limn his unusual and intense personal relationships, particularly with the women in his life his estranged wife, longtime lover Lillian Hellman and his daughters and the warmth and chivalry concealed within an oblique persona… Although this collection is richly satisfying, reading it is a bittersweet, saddening experience. One senses that Hammett was knocked about in his lifetime and undervalued, both as a writer and for his dogged pursuit of social justice. Layman and company offer an important touchstone of literary history and a book that will remain a solid backlist title for mystery devotees.” —Publishers Weekly
“An illuminating collection of the famed writer’s letters… A fine rendering of Hammett’s life in his own words — and a remarkable slice of Americana.” —Kirkus
“The letters are organized, with insightful introductions, into sections spanning roughly 10 years, ranging from Hammett’s work as a Pinkerton detective to his boozy Hollywood heyday and his collapse. His voice emerges as funny, truthful, jaunty in the midst of troubles.” —Booklist