The first book to give us the life and times of Raymond Chandler through his own writing-from the acclaimed editor of The Letters of Noël Coward.
Chandler never wrote an autobiography or a memoir. Now Barry Day, making use of Chandler's novels, short stories, and letters as well as Day's always illuminating commentary, gives us the life of "the man with no home," a man precariously balanced between his classical English education with its immutable values and that of a fast-evolving America during the years before the Great War, with its resulting changing vernacular. Chandler reveals what it was like to be a writer, and in particular what it was to be a writer of "hard-boiled" fiction in what was for him "another language." Along the way, he discusses the work of his contemporaries: Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Agatha Christie, Erle Stanley Gardner, Somerset Maugham, among others. Here is Chandler's Los Angeles, a city he adopted and which adopted him in the post-World War I period…Chandler on his Hollywood, working with Billy Wilder, Howard Hawks, Alfred Hitchcock, and others…Chandler on organized crime and on his alter ego, Philip Marlowe, private eye, the incorruptible knight with little armor who walks the "mean streets" in a world not made for knights…on drinking (his life in the end was in a race with alcohol-and loneliness)…and here are Chandler's women-the Little Sisters; the dames-in his fiction-and his life.