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Michel Fabre: Has your living in France played an important role in your career?
Chester Himes: Only to some extent. I was known in the United States before I left in 1953, and If He Hollers had sold well. But I remained a "Negro writer;" in other words something marginal in the mind of the public; a not quite respectable writer for reasons that had nothing to do with morals. The only Negro writer at the time who enjoyed any status as an "American writer" was Richard Wright. He was recognized as such, but I wasn't, nor were many others.
Later, my detective stories sold well in the United States, but they weren't considered important enough to be reviewed.