WRITERS THAT MADE ME WANT TO BE A WRITER: CORNELL WOOLRICH

WRITERS THAT MADE ME WANT TO BE A WRITER:

CORNELL WOOLRICH (1903-1968)

 

The bleak poet of despair. Noir is built on the back of four writers. Dashiell Hammet. Raymond Chandler. James M. Cain. And Cornell Woolrich. Of these, Woolrich was the most prolific and the least recognized. So prolific he wrote under several names; his own, William Irish and George Hopley.

The author of stories and emphasized the randomness of disastrous coincidence. THE WINDOW. THE BRIDE WORE BLACK. I MARRIED A DEAD MAN. YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME AGAIN. The source material for classic films: REAR WINDOW. THE LEOPARD MAN. MISSISSIPPI MERMAID. I MARRIED A SHADOW.

I spent many a lonely high school afternoon buried in his books of short stories. BEYOND THE NIGHT. NIGHTWEBS. DARKNESS AT DAWN. When I wrote my first novel, 15 MINUTES TO LIVE, I felt Woolrich whispering in my ear. I even adapted one of his novels (I MARRIED A DEAD MAN) to the big screen as MRS. WINTERBOURNE.

“I was trying to cheat death. I was only trying to surmount for a little while the darkness that all my life I surely knew was going to come rolling in on me some day and obliterate me. I was only to stay alive a little brief while longer, after I was already gone.”  R.I.P. Cornell Woolrich.

Phoef Sutton

Phoef Sutton

Published novelist - living in South Pasadena, California with his wife Dawn and his daughters Skylar and Celia.
Phoef Sutton