Cain, James Mallahan

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James Mallahan Cain, 1892–1977, American novelist, b. Annapolis, Md., grad. Washington College, 1910. He taught journalism (1924–25), wrote political commentaries for the New York World (1924–31), and was a Hollywood screenwriter (1931–33). His early hard-boiled novels frequently concern middle-class lovers who are driven to crime and violence. Several were turned into films that became noir classics. Cain's novels include The Postman Always Rings Twice (1934, films 1946, 1981), Double Indemnity (1936, film 1944), Mildred Pierce (1941, film 1945), The Magician's Wife (1966), and Rainbow's End (1974).

See biography by R. Hoopes (1985); studies by D. Madden (1970, 1985), P. Skenazy (1989), R. Fine (1992), and D. Madden and K. Mecholsky (2011).