Dashiell Hammett
1894-1961
 

Samuel Dashiell Hammett was born in Maryland, USA. He spent his early years in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He left school at the age of fourteen and proceeded to work on a variety of jobs. When he was twenty, he started to work for Pinkerton's, first as a clerk and then as an operative. In total he spent eight years with Pinkerton's. After the First World War, he settled in San Francisco working for the local branch of Pinkerton's. At this time he started to write. His first story was published in 1922 in a magazine. In the Thirties he moved to New York. By this time he was famous. Hammett gave up writing in 1934. In the Fifties he became a victim of the McCarthy 'witch hunts'. He was jailed for six months because he refused to name contributors to a Communist bail fund. When he got out of prison he was a sick man. On top of this, he was black-listed by Hollywood. The last four years of his life he spent as a recluse.
He wrote hundreds of stories but only five full-length novels.

 

Titles and year of publication:
 
 1) Red Harvest  1929
 2) The Dain Curse  1929
 3) The Maltese Falcon  1930
 4) The Glass Key  1931
 5) The Thin Man  1934
 6) $106,000 Blood Money (short stories)  1943
 7) The Adventures of Sam Spade (short stories)  1944
 8) The Continental Op (short stories)  1945
 9) The Return of the Continental Op (short stories)  1945
10) Hammett Homicides (short stories)  1946
11) Dead Yellow Women (short stories)  1947
12) Nightmare Town (short stories)  1948
13) The Creeping Siamese (short stories)  1950
14) Woman in the Dark (short stories)  1950
15) A Man Named Thin (short stories)  1962
16) The Big Knockover (short stories)  1966
17) The Continental Op (short stories)  1974

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