Robert Polito is the author of Savage Art: A Biography of Jim Thompson, which won the National Book Critics Circle Award and an Edgar Award.
Cornell Woolrich was born in New York City in 1903. While he was attending Columbia University, Woolrich wrote Children of the Ritz, which won a $10,000 prize. More than 30 of Woolrich's works have been adapted for films or TV, his most famous being Rear Window, an Alfred Hitchcock creation. The Cornell Woolrich Omnibus is a collection of his best works including Rear Window, I Married a Dead Man, and Waltz into Darkness. Cornell Woolrich died in 1968.
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.