Dashiell Hammett’s legacy lies not only in his writing, but in his living – rough, wild and on the edge.

Jesse Hamlin, San Francisco Chronicle:

He was a dashing, elusive figure who rose from rural working-class roots to become one of the best paid and most celebrated American writers of the 1930s. A free-spending sybarite who nearly drank himself to death before putting down the bottle in ‘48, he died broke and mostly forgotten in 1961 at the age of 66. …

Says his daughter, Jo Hammett:

“He very much wanted to be remembered as an American writer. He was always very proud of his heritage, and it shows in his treatment of the language. Few people have written American speech as well as he did. He and Mark Twain. He’s in good company.”

Mitch Wagner @MitchWagner