National Endowment for the Arts - The Big Read
The Maltese Falcon

The Maltese Falcon

by Dashiell Hammett

I’m one of the few—if there are any more—people moderately literate who take the detective story seriously.


Dashiell Hammett, 1932 (Courtesy of Josephine Hammett)

An acclaimed biographer and literary conservator, Matthew J. Bruccoli (1931-2008) was the co-editor of Hardboiled Mystery Writers: Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Ross Macdonald: A Literary Reference (1989). Also a leading authority on F. Scott Fitzgerald, Bruccoli was Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of South Carolina, where he established the world-renowned collection of Fitzgerald papers and manuscripts.

Maureen Corrigan is the book critic for NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross. Her reviews and essays have appeared in many publications including The New York Times, Newsday, and The Nation. She writes a mystery column for The Washington Post and teaches literature at Georgetown University. In 2005, Corrigan published Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books.

Dana Gioia, former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts, is an acclaimed poet, critic, and literary anthologist. His third collection of poetry, Interrogations at Noon (2001), won the American Book Award. He has also written collections of essays, including Can Poetry Matter?: Essays on Poetry and American Culture (1992; 2002) and Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture (2004).

Joe Gores (1931-2011) was a former San Francisco private investigator and the author of Hammett (1975), a novel adapted for the screen in 1982. Gores has won three Edgar Allan Poe Awards including one for his first novel, A Time of Predators (1969). He wrote such novels as 32 Cadillacs (1992), Cases (1999) and Spade and Archer (2009), a prequel to The Maltese Falcon.

Diane Johnson is perhaps best known for her novel Le Divorce (1997), which won the California Book Award and was adapted for the screen in 2003. As prolific as she is versatile, Johnson wrote the biography Dashiell Hammett: A Life (1983), the screenplay for Stanley Kubrick's The Shining (1980), and the novel Lulu in Marrakech (2008).

David Kipen is a freelance book critic and founder of Libros Schmibros, a lending library and used bookshop in Los Angeles. He is the former Director of National Reading Initiatives at the National Endowment for the Arts, where he oversaw The Big Read, and a former book critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. Kipen is author of The Schreiber Theory: A Radical Rewrite of American Film History (2006).

Born and raised in Carrickfergus, Northern Ireland, Adrian McKinty was educated at Oxford University before moving to New York City. McKinty is perhaps best known for his crime fiction series chronicling the trials of Michael Forsythe, a hard-bitten immigrant who escapes Belfast to become an enforcer for the Irish mob in Harlem. The Bloomsday Dead, the last of his "Dead Trilogy," was published in 2007 and his 12th novel, The Cold, Cold Ground was published in 2012.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Walter Mosley has published more than 35 books of fiction, science fiction, and nonfiction. Past president of the Mystery Writers of America, he is best known for his best-selling Easy Rawlins mystery series, which began with 1990's Devil in a Blue Dress. Other work includes the nonfiction book This Year You Write Your Novel (2007).

Julie Rivett is the granddaughter of Dashiell Hammett. Her editorial credits include Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett: 1921-1960 (2001) and Dashiell Hammett: A Daughter Remembers (2001).

A Chicago native, Scott Simon is a writer, journalist, and the host of National Public Radio's Weekend Edition Saturday. He has won many awards in broadcasting, as well as the Presidential End Hunger Award for his series of reports on the 1987-88 Ethiopian civil war and drought. His books include Home and Away: Memoir of a Fan (2000), Jackie Robinson and the Integration of Baseball (2002), Pretty Birds (2005), and Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other (2010).

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