Mystery writer James Mallahan Cain was born in Annapolis, Maryland, in 1892. He received his B.A. and M.A. from Washington College, and served in the military as editor-in-chief of the official newspaper of the 79th Division, American Expeditionary Forces. Cain worked as a staff reporter for the Baltimore Sun; he became a professor of journalism in the 1920s; he worked as a Hollywood screenwriter in the 1930s and 40s. Many of his stories, including Double Indemnity (1943), have been made into successful films. Joan Crawford won an Academy Award in 1945 for her portrayal of Cain's Mildred Pierce (1941). Cain's first novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934), was said to have inspired Albert Camus' The Stranger, but offended sensibilities in the U.S. and was even tried for obscenity in Boston. The novel was eventually made into a movie in 1946, starring Lana Turner and again in 1981, with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. In all, Cain authored eighteen books.