Scope and Contents
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
Immediate Source of Acquisition
9.83 Linear Feet (28 boxes)
Chester B. Himes (1909-1984)
Released from prison in 1936, he married Jean Lucinda Johnson in 1937. From 1938 to 1941 he worked for the Cleveland Daily News and the Ohio Writers' Project, for which he wrote a history of Cleveland for the WPA Guide Series. Himes moved to California in 1941 and continued writing and working at shipyards until 1944, all the while trying with little success to secure a publisher for his novel Black Sheep (later published, in 1952, as Cast the First Stone). With the help of a Rosenwald Fellowship he was able to complete his first book, If He Hollers Let Him Go, which was published in 1945. His second book, Lonely Crusade, was published in 1947. Himes moved to Paris around 1953, and in 1955 published The Primitive. The first book of his now famous hard-boiled detective fiction series, For Love of Imabelle, which features two African American detectives from Harlem, Coffin Ed Johnson and Grave Digger Jones, was released in 1957. Himes spent the rest of his days living and writing in Europe, including stints in France, Germany and England, but primarily in Moraira on the southern coast of Spain with his second wife, Lesley Packard Himes. He published many other works including his two volume autobiography, The Quality of Hurt (1973) and My Life of Absurdity (1976). He died in Moraira, Spain on November 12, 1984.
Material in this collection formerly used the call numbers Uncat JWJ MS 12; JWJ MSS Himes; and ZAN 5 +2 V.5, V.6.
This collection was processed as part of the Beinecke Library Summer Internship Program in 2008.
- Guide to the Chester B. Himes Papers
- by Bergis Jules and Ellen Doon
- July 2008
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English.
Part of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library Repository
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