Book number: 91746 Product format: Hardback Author: DAVID MADDEN

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Bibliophile price £2.50
Published price $27.95

The story behind the man who brought us The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce, the film noir classics. James M. Cain was a master of the 'hard-boiled' school of writing in the 1930s and 1940s that included Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. His 1937 novel Serenade boldly portrayed its hero as a bisexual man. Before becoming a famous novelist, Cain taught journalism at various colleges in Maryland, wrote editorials for the New York World and was for a brief time Managing Editor at The New Yorker. While his biographer renders Cain's fast-paced life in New York and Hollywood, including his four wives, as he created a great number of short stories, novels, plays and magazine articles, part of the story is David Madden's own story. The long time relationship between the emerging young novelist and the elderly writer in decline enabled Madden to imagine Cain's creative process and throughout the book Madden meshes his own words with Cain's. Cain cooperated intimately and the biography is innovative in style and technique. 'Because I want Cain's own distinctly tough, frank, slangy voice to convey a sense of his life as a storyteller, I have employed three very unorthodox methods. First, I have restructured, pruned, and sometimes rephrased the pages he sent me and blended his words with my own phrases...' 'A second major feature of this biography, an imaginative impression of his creative process as a writer in the very act of writing, both fiction and non-fiction. A third major feature is my use of the technique that I have often used in my own fiction, whereby the point of view is confined strictly to what Cain remembers...' 'The mumps had released him from a six month stretch with Consolidated Gas and Light of Baltimore, secured through his father's connections, performing hateful routine tasks with ledgers. Inspecting roads and writing reports for the Maryland Road Commission had been enjoyable, but getting laid off was humiliating. As Principal of the high school in a little village of Vienna, Maryland, he had learned a few things about teaching.' Other chapters are titled The Butterfly and the Moth, Galatea and Mignon and The Magician's Wife. 300 pages.

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ISBN 9781493048120

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