Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler | First Editions

1888 - 1959

Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was a British-American novelist and screenwriter. At the age of forty-four, Chandler became a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive, during the Great Depression. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven novels during his lifetime (an eighth, in progress at the time of his death, was completed by Robert B. Parker). All but Playback have been made into motion pictures. In 1958, Chandler was elected president of the Mystery Writers of America.

Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature. He is considered to be a founder of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction, along with other Black Mask writers. Three of Chandler's works have long been considered masterpieces: Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The Long Goodbye was praised in an anthology of American crime stories as "arguably the first book since Hammett's The Glass Key [...] to qualify as a serious and significant mainstream novel that just happened to possess elements of mystery".

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