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The hardboiled crime writer was among the first black authors in the genre.
Raised in a segregated Missouri and Cleveland, Chester Himes (1909-1984) began his remarkable writing career writing short stories and magazine articles from prison. Once released, he began working at a shipyard, which he used as the basis for his most famous novel, If He Hollers, Let Him Go. He eventually settled in Paris, where he penned most of his Harlem Detective hardboiled novels.