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Author Information: Charles Williams (1909-1975)

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Charles Williams was born in Texas in 1909. His formative years between 1929 and 1939 were spent at sea with the US Merchant Marines as a Radio Operator. Later occupations continued in the radio, shipyards and electronic industries, and he did not turn to writing until the early 1950s.

The influence of the sea was a major one on his crime writing, and many of his novels take place in marine settings or at sea, thus carving an unusual niche for Williams as a highly original, quirky author who was also fascinated by amoral women and protagonists in dead-end and sticky situations.

A strong sense of irony and, sometimes, downright bawdy humour also permeate some of his land-bound novels set in back-country bayou regions of the American South. By combining elements of James Cain and Erskine Caldwell, Williams created a new crime sub-genre.

A prolific author for the paperback original market, Williams averaged a novel a year until 1975 when he committed suicide in his apartment in the Van Nuys neighborhood of Los Angeles. A dozen movies have been made from his novels and screenplays.





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