by Robert E. Skinner
University of Wisconsin Press, 1989
Cloth: 978-0-87972-453-5 | Paper: 978-0-87972-454-2
Library of Congress Classification PS3515.I713Z87 1989
Dewey Decimal Classification 813.54

Among the many writers who lent their talents to the creation of hard-boiled detective fiction, few have approached it from a more original perspective than Chester Himes. A former criminal himself, Himes brought to the writing of detective fiction the perspective of the black man. Himes made his debut with the brilliant For Love of Imabelle, for which he was awarded the coveted Grand Prix de la Littérature Policière.
    Two Guns from Harlem probes Himes’s early life and career for the roots of this series and for its heroes, Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones. Skinner discusses how Himes’s experience as a black man, combined with his unique outlook on sociology, politics, violence, sex, and race relations, resulted not only in an unusual portrait of black America but also opened the way for the creation of the
ethnic and female hard-boiled detectives who followed.