Chester Himes


Born
in Jefferson City, The United States
July 29, 1909

Died
November 12, 1984

Genre


Chester Bomar Himes began writing in the early 1930s while serving a prison sentence for armed robbery. From there, he produced short stories for periodicals such as Esquire and Abbott's Monthly. When released, he focussed on semi-autobiographical protest novels.

In 1953, Himes emigrated to France, where he was approached by Marcel Duhamel of Gallimard to write a detective series for Série Noire, which had published works from the likes of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Jim Thompson. Himes would be the first black author included in the series. The resulting Harlem Cycle gained him celebrity when he won France's Grand Prix de Littérature Policière for La Reine des Pommes (now known in English as A Rage in Harlem) in 1958. Three of t
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Average rating: 3.9 · 15,726 ratings · 1,516 reviews · 55 distinct worksSimilar authors
A Rage in Harlem (Harlem Cy...

3.91 avg rating — 4,930 ratings — published 1957 — 62 editions
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If He Hollers Let Him Go

by
3.97 avg rating — 1,972 ratings — published 1945 — 20 editions
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The Real Cool Killers (Harl...

3.89 avg rating — 1,737 ratings — published 1958 — 27 editions
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Cotton Comes to Harlem (Har...

3.83 avg rating — 1,752 ratings — published 1964 — 29 editions
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Blind Man with a Pistol (Ha...

3.60 avg rating — 773 ratings — published 1969 — 27 editions
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The Crazy Kill (Harlem Cycl...

3.88 avg rating — 491 ratings — published 1959 — 26 editions
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The Heat's On (Harlem Cycle...

3.90 avg rating — 556 ratings — published 1961 — 33 editions
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All Shot Up (Harlem Cycle, #5)

3.85 avg rating — 506 ratings — published 1960 — 34 editions
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Yesterday Will Make You Cry

3.93 avg rating — 262 ratings — published 1998 — 5 editions
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The Big Gold Dream (Harlem ...

3.69 avg rating — 297 ratings — published 1959 — 27 editions
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More books by Chester Himes…
A Rage in Harlem The Real Cool Killers The Crazy Kill The Big Gold Dream All Shot Up The Heat's On Cotton Comes to Harlem
(9 books)
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3.86 avg rating — 11,177 ratings

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“It seemed so illogical to punish some poor criminal for doing something that civilization taught him how to do so he could have something that civilization taught him how to want. It seemed to him as wrong as if they had hung the gun that shot the man.”
Chester Himes, Yesterday Will Make You Cry

“Don't ever lean your whole weight on happiness, Jimmy. You fall too hard too hard when it gives away”
Chester Himes, Yesterday Will Make You Cry

“She held him at arms’ length, looked at the pipe still gripped in his hand, then looked at his face and read him like a book. She ran the tip of her red tongue slowly across her full cushiony, sensuous lips, making them wet-red and looked him straight in the eyes with her own glassy, speckled bedroom eyes.

The man drowned.

When he came up, he stared back, passion cocked, his whole black being on a live-wire edge. Ready! Solid ready to cut throats, crack skulls, dodge police, steal hearses, drink muddy water, live in a hollow log, and take any rape-fiend chance to be once more in the arms of his high-yellow heart.”
Chester Himes, A Rage in Harlem

Polls

March 2021 Group Read

 
  14 votes 27.5%

 
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  6 votes 11.8%

 
  5 votes 9.8%

Sula (write-in)
 
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Those Bones are Not My Child (write-in)
 
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51 total votes
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