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James Cain (1892 - 1977)

Lifespan: 1892 - 1977

Related: erotic thriller genre - hardboiled - crime fiction - 1900s literature - American literature

Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange in the 1981 film adaptation of The Postman Always Rings Twice

James Cain best known novel is the 1934 crime novel The Postman Always Rings Twice. The novel was quite successful and notorious upon publication, and is regarded as one of the more important crime novels of the 20th century. Fast-moving and brief (only about 100 pages long, depending on the edition), the novel's mix of sexuality and violence was startling in its time, and saw the book banned in Boston. The novel was adapted for film in the 1943 Italian film entitled Ossessione (Obsession), directed by Luchino Visconti, in the 1946 film, which starred Lana Turner and John Garfield as the criminal couple and in 1981, based on a screenplay by David Mamet and directed by Bob Rafelson, starred Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. [Dec 2006]

Jealous Woman (1950) - James M. Cain
Corgi Edition published 1966
Image sourced here.
See also: jealousy

The seminal American writer in the noir fiction mode was James M. Cain—regarded as the third major figure of the early hardboiled scene, he debuted as a crime novelist in 1934, right between Hammett and Chandler.

"It is hard to imagine the Coen brothers without James M. Cain."


James Mallahan Cain (July 1, 1892 – October 27, 1977) was an American journalist and novelist. Although Cain himself vehemently opposed labelling, he is usually associated with the hardboiled school of American crime fiction and seen as one of the creators of the roman noir. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James M. Cain [Mar 2006]

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