Friday, August 03, 2007

Oops!

Here I go bragging about a story by Christa Faust and not linking to it, even though it was first published in the Muzzle Flash's flash site. (I understood it's going to be included in the Out of the Gutter print zine.) Here it is.

6 comments:

Peter said...

I don't know, maybe there's something about hard-boiled women. Maybe they're harder-boiled than hard-boiled men. That Faust story hits hard and, by coincidence, I recently read an excerpt by Leigh Brackett that someone described as being exceedingly Chandlerlike. In fact, it hit harder than anything I can recall off the top of my head of Chandler's.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/

Juri said...

Brackett was a really hard-hitting writer. Have you ever read his sword and sorcery stories, for example about John Stark? They are way hardboiled. No wonder everyone thought she was a man (and no wonder Howard Hawks liked her).

Peter said...

No, I hardly know her fiction, though I've seen a movie or two for which she wrote the screenplay.

It would be interesting to read what Hawks thought of her. He was a superbly talented director, of course, but more no-nonsense than hard-boiled. I don't suppose any director ever made excellent movies across more genres than he did, and yet he was attracted to this superb hard-boiled writer -- who could write science fiction, too!

And I, too, thought Leigh Brackett was a man until I learned otherwise.

A feminist press in the U.S. has an imprint called Femmes Fatales that includes lots of hard-boiled women: Vara Caspary (Laura), Dorothy B. Hughes, but no Leigh Brackett. I'll have to look for her work one of these days.

And I should not neglect Laura Lippman's story from Dublin Noir, which we have discussed elsewhere.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot

Juri said...

I've read one of Lippman's novels (sorry, forgot the title, but I think I wrote about it in the blog) and it was better than anything I've read by Sara Paretsky or Sue Grafton. (Maybe even Marcia Muller.) Highly recommended.

I think Hawks speaks about Brackett in the interview book Joseph McBride made in the seventies. Wait.. um, here it is. Freely translated from the Finnish translation.

What was it like to work with Brackett?
She wrote the script like a man. She wrote well.

Is it true that you first thought you'd hired a male writer when you first read her scripts?
It's true. I hired her through an agent and thought I hired a man. We were working on The Big Sleep and Bill Faulkner wanted a job. Leigh Brackett knew the movie business and knew something about writing a scene. They wrote the screenplay for The Big Sleep in eight days. She wrote well.

Hawks comes out very hardboiled and cool in his musings in the book. Vera Caspary's Laura is said to be annoying and the film is much better (haven't read it myself). But this could be some male critic speaking.

Peter said...

I'd like to read what Hawks had to say about just about anything. Hitchcock is marvelously illuminating when discussing his own work. Since Hawks is probably my favorite director after Hitch, I'd be interested in hearing from him.

The opening chapters of Laura are pretty damned good -- lots of cool, sharp comic observation. The narrator, Waldo Lydecker, is more than the somewhat foppish figure of the movie, though that might be the natural ability of a novel to say more than a movie does.
==============
Detectives Beyond Borders
"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"
http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot

Juri said...

You'd think McBride's book would be in print in the US. Check it out, it's funny.

About Lippman: here's what I wrote a year back:

As I mentioned in passing, I was reading Laura Lippman's The Sugar House. I finished it the day before. It was very good, but I had some trouble in the climax when the baddy turned out to be a Democrat, Jewish and homosexual at the same time.

Hope that's not a spoiler. But the novel was very, very good.

Good to hear about Caspary's Laura. I have it, but haven't just gotten around to it.