Difficult Lives

Jim Thompson - David Goodis - Chester Himes







by James Sallis

Gryphon Books, Brooklyn, NY. 1993 (this 2nd printing, 2000). 104 pages. Tall-digest sized paperback. No illustrations.

Biographical and literary studies of three authors of paperback originals who have made a posthumous resurgence of popularity in the past decade.

It's very interesting that the author does not defend either their styles or writing abilities. The point of the book seems to be that they were all artists, they all suffered a great deal for that art, and, just like many artists in other media, their suffering is paying off now with greater interest after their passing. They each wrote about what they knew best: the pain of dealing with life in a painful society.

The book is interesting reading, but it didn't necessarily make me want to rush right out and read these authors' books.