Chester Himes was born in Missouri in 1909. He began writing while serving a prison sentence for a jewel theft and published just short of twenty novels before his death in 1984. Among his best-known thrillers are Blind Man with a Pistol, Cotton Comes to Harlem, The Crazy Kill, A Rage in Harlem, The Real Cool Killers, and The Heat's On, all available from Vintage.
"A sensual, surreal, cartoonishly violent and breathtakingly bawdy
comic universe. . . . A raw but bracing locale . . . bursting with
life and sadness, joyously bitter as well as unabashedly
--Los Angeles Times
"One of the most important American writers of the 20th century. . . . A quirky American genius." --Walter Mosley "Chester Himes is one of the towering figures of the black literary tradition. His command of nuances of character and dynamics of plot is preeminent among writers of crime fiction. He is a master craftsman." --Henry Louis Gates, Jr. "Their deft mixture of race relations and police-work are as entertaining as sociology as they are as mysteries." --The Boston Globe