theatre, film & tv past and present 2001-2008 & 2013…
When we were very broke, those first years in New York, Hammett got a modest advance from Knopf and began to write The Thin Man. He moved to what was jokingly called the Diplomat’s Suite in a hotel run by our friend Nathanael West. It was a new hotel but Pep West and the depression had managed to run it down immediately and certainly Hammett’s suite had never seen a diplomat because even the smallest Oriental could not have functioned well in the space. But the rent was cheap, the awful food could be charged, and some part of my idle time could be spent with Pep snooping around the lives of the other rather strange guests. I had known Dash when he was writing short stories, but I had never been around for a long piece of work. Life changed: the drinking stopped, the parties were over. The…
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