Chicago born novelist / screenwriter Raymond Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) wrote only seven novels, all of them concerning private detective Philip Marlowe. The Big Sleep, published in 1939, was his first, when Chandler was already 50. He had started selling short stories a few years earlier. From age 12 to 30, he lived in the UK and participated in the WWI war effort, eventually enlisting with the Canaidan Expeditionary Force and saw combat duty in France. After the war, he settled in Los Angeles and turned to writing for The Black Mask in 1933. The sensation of The Big Sleep led to opportunities as a Hollywood screenwirter. He collaborated with Billy Wilder on adapting James M Cain's Double Indemnity.
In 1946, The Big Sleep was also turned into a memorable film starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, directed by Howard Hawks.
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