THE ROBINSON LIBRARY
|The Robinson Library >> Linguistics, Languages, and Literatures >> American Literature >> 1900-1960|
writer of detective stories
Raymond Thornton Chandler was born in Chicago on July 23, 1888, but grew up in England. He was educated at a local school in Upper Norwood, London, at Dulwich College in London (1900-1905), and then studied in France and Germany (1905-1907). He became a naturalized British subject in 1907 (he again became an American citizen in 1956). During World War I, he served in the Gordon Highlanders of the Canadian Army (1917-1918) and in the Royal Air Force (1918-1919).
Before taking up the writing profession, Chandler worked in the supply and accounting departments of the Admiralty (1907), and as a reporter for the London Daily Express and the Bristol Western Gazette (1908-1912). After returning to the United States in 1912, he worked in St. Louis, then on a ranch and in a sporting goods firm in California. From 1912 to 1917 he was an accountant and bookkeeper for the Los Angeles Creamery; in 1919 he worked in a San Francisco bank and then as a staff reporter for the Los Angeles Daily Express. In 1922 he became a bookkeeper (later an auditor) for the Dabney Oil Syndicate in Los Angeles, where he remained until 1932.
Chandler published his first story in 1933 in Black Mask, a magazine that specialized in detective stories. One of the leading writers of detective fiction, Chandler's stories are noted for their realism and violence. His most famous character, private eye Philip Marlowe, was first introduced in 1939, in The Big Sleep. Marlowe is a modern knight who roams the Los Angeles area, protecting the helpless and bringing the guilty to justice.
The Philip Marlowe novels are:
In addition to the Marlowe novels,
Chandler also wrote several short stories;
as well as the following screenplays:
Several of Chandler's novels and
stories have been made into films:
Chandler received the Edgar Allan Poe Award from the Mystery Writers of America in 1946 and 1954, and served as president of that organization in 1959.
He died March 26, 1959.
Library >> Linguistics,
Languages, and Literatures
Literature >> 1900-1960
This page was last updated on 03/26/2018.