Category Archives: American Writers

Hammett on Hammett: The Case of the Mystery Editor

Maxwell Perkins coached and encouraged F. Scott Fitzgerald. Gordon Lish often slashed more than half of Raymond Carver’s stories. Thanks to letters, journals, and literary scholars, readers can see the trajectories of manuscripts from draft to printed page. Not just … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Classics, Film, Noir | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Magical Negro

The title of this post comes from Matthew Hughey by way of Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist. She quotes the professor, a sociologist, in her essay-review of the film, The Help, adapted from Kathryn Stockett’s novel. In Bad Feminist … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Film, Remembering Black History, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Wedge Through Society

Nobody had expected the French economist Thomas Piketty’s Capital in the Twenty-First Century to become the bestseller that it did in 2014, yet another bestseller from yesteryear is equally relevant, equally incisive in its analysis, though its prose is difficult … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Forgotten Writers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Sugar and Sweat

Like any writer, I seek to improve my skills. Most days I’ll return to the imaginarium to watch how other authors have whetted the nib, so I can improve the down strokes on my keyboard, but some days I’ll read … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Noir, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Twice-Murdered Dream

Richard Yates chronicled the American Dream from the inside, as he knew and lived it; he was an American writer. Compared to Chekhov and considered the poor man’s Fitzgerald for his style, Yates received praise from the likes of Andre … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Forgotten Writers | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Jagged Ice: The Works of Iceberg Slim

Ever discover an author who made you feel like as if you’ve been living under a rock? And I don’t mean just discovering good writing, but, to quote Hammett, “like somebody had taken the lid off life and let [you] … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers, Forgotten Writers | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

M is for Mississippi in March

There is no greater joy than discovering a new writer, for it justifies the thumb’s mileage, the ho-hum trudge through lifeless prose. There are those missteps, those false glimmers of promise and then the inevitable dissatisfaction. There is a lot … Continue reading

Posted in American Writers | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment