Dashiell Hammett: The Library of America Edition: Hammett: LOA Edition

Overview

Here, for the first time in a deluxe collector’s box, is the most comprehensive edition of the hard-boiled crime fiction of Dashiell Hammett ever published. Complete Novels, the first of two volumes gathered here, presents the five groundbreaking books whose gritty, lean prose won admiration from such contemporaries as Stein, Hemingway, and Faulkner: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key,, and The Thin Man.

In the stories he wrote for Black Mask and ...

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Overview

Here, for the first time in a deluxe collector’s box, is the most comprehensive edition of the hard-boiled crime fiction of Dashiell Hammett ever published. Complete Novels, the first of two volumes gathered here, presents the five groundbreaking books whose gritty, lean prose won admiration from such contemporaries as Stein, Hemingway, and Faulkner: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key,, and The Thin Man.

In the stories he wrote for Black Mask and other pulp magazines in the 1920s and 1930s, Hammett used the vernacular adventure tale to register the jarring textures and revved-up cadences of modern America. Crime Stories & Other Writings presents 24 of these classic tales, along with revealing essays and an early, unfinished version of his novel The Thin Man. The texts, reprinted here for the first time, are those that appeared originally in the pulps, without the revisions introduced by later editors.

“An invaluable collection.” —Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781598532180
  • Publisher: Library of America
  • Publication date: 5/2/2013
  • Pages: 1901
  • Sales rank: 621,965
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.34 (h) x 2.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Dashiell Hammett

Steven Marcus, a distinguished literary critic and cultural historian, is George Delacorte Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Columbia University. He edited the historic collection of Hammett stories, The Continental Op, and is the author of many books including The Other Victorians and Engels, Manchester, and the Working Class.

Biography

Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in St. Mary's County. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Hammett left school at the age of fourteen and held several kinds of jobs thereafter -- messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore, finally becoming an operative for Pinkerton's Detective Agency. Sleuthing suited young Hammett, but World War I intervened, interrupting his work and injuring his health.

When Sergeant Hammett was discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work. He soon turned to writing, and in the late 1920s Hammett became the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. In The Maltese Falcon (1930) he first introduced his famous private eye, Sam Spade. The Thin Man (1932) offered another immortal sleuth, Nick Charles. Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most successful novels. During World War II, Hammett again served as sergeant in the Army, this time for more than two years, most of which he spent in the Aleutians.

Hammett's later life was marked in part by ill health, alcoholism, a period of imprisonment related to his alleged membership in the Communist Party, and by his long-time companion, the author Lillian Hellman, with whom he had a very volatile relationship. His attempt at autobiographical fiction survives in the story "Tulip," which is contained in the posthumous collection The Big Knockover (1966, edited by Lillian Hellman). Another volume of his stories, The Continental Op (1974, edited by Stephen Marcus), introduced the final Hammett character: the "Op," a nameless detective (or "operative") who displays little of his personality, making him a classic tough guy in the hard-boiled mold -- a bit like Hammett himself.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Samuel Dashiell Hammett (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      May 27, 1894
    2. Place of Birth:
      St. Mary, Maryland
    1. Date of Death:
      January 10, 1961
    2. Place of Death:
      New York

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