In 1997 The Library of America's Crime Novels: American Noir gathered, in two volumes, eleven classic works of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s--among them David Goodis's moody and intensely lyrical masterpiece Down There, adapted by François Truffaut for his 1960 film Shoot the Piano Player. Now, The Library of America and editor Robert Polito team up again to celebrate the full scope of Goodis's signature style with this landmark volume collecting five great novels from the height of his career. Goodis (1917-1967) was a Philadelphia- born pulp expressionist who brought a jazzy style to his spare, passionate novels of mean streets and doomed protagonists: an innocent man railroaded for his wife's murder (Dark Passage); an artist whose life turns nightmarish because of a cache of stolen money (Nightfall); a dockworker seeking to comprehend his sister's brutal death (The Moon in the Gutter); a petty criminal derailed by irresistible passion (The Burglar); and a famous crooner scarred by violence and descending into dereliction (Street of No Return). Long a cult favorite, Goodis now takes his place alongside Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett in the pantheon of classic American crime writers.
LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
ROBERT POLITO, editor, is a poet, biographer, and critic whose "Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson" received the National Book Critics Circle Award. He directs the Graduate Writing Program at the New School.