In the decades since its publication, William Lindsay Gresham’s novel Nightmare Alley (1946) has gained recognition as a cornerstone of postwar noir fiction. But the remainder of the author’s work — thematically diverse and voluminous in scale — has gone virtually unexplored.
Whether writing for the detective pulps of the 1940s, the sci-fi digests of the 1950s, or the lowbrow men’s magazines of the early 1960s, Gresham relentlessly indulged his fascination with crime, psychology, magic, and spiritism, investing each of these almost-forgotten pieces with his dark wit and fatalistic sense of doom. This is the first collection of William Lindsay Gresham’s ever to be published.
This edition unearths 24 of Gresham’s most fascinating short stories and essays, most of which have never been reprinted since their original publication, and provides, at long last, a comprehensive view of one of pulp fiction's most enigmatic figures.
A biographical essay by Bret Wood charts Gresham’s tumultuous life and career (including his troubled marriage to Joy Davidman), revealing the events that led to his alcoholism, his struggle for sobriety, and ultimately his suicide in 1962.