"Every character [of a Goodis] book is suffering profoundly. The main character can do nothing about it," said Geoffrey O'Brien, Editor-in-Chief of Library of America. "The 1950's drove Goodis to such relentless self-analysis."
Robert Polito, Goodis scholar and editor,
and Geoffrey O'Brien, editor-in-chief of Library of America,
present Goodis anthology at 2012 Philadelphia Book Festival
Library of America has released Goodis, Five Noir Novels of the 1940s and 1950s edited by Robert Polito, director of Writing Programs at The New School.
This volume contains five Goodis classics: Dark Passage, Nightfall, The Moon in the Gutter, The Burglar and The Street of No Return. Tour the noir geography of David Goodis as he writes about San Francisco, Manhattan, the American West, Philadelphia's docks, working class Philadelphia, working class Atlantic City and Philadelphia's tenderloin.
The volume is a study in Goodis' deepening inner torment.Dark Passage and Nightfall were written before Goodis returned to Philadelphia after an unhappy stint as a Hollywood writer and a failed marriage. The Moon in the Gutter, The Burglar and The Street of No Return were written in a second floor bedroom in Goodis' parents' home on North 11th Street. These three Philadelphia novels are progressively gloomy. The characters are progressively hopeless. As Goodis advances in his career, his books address deeper and deeper psychological themes.
Polito includes a detailed chronology of Goodis' life, from his parents' occupations and residences, through Goodis' education, his publications, his disastrous marriage, his hushed romance, his brilliant descent into paperbacks, and his demise. Polito provides notes explaining the contemporary cultural references in the five novels.
I won't tell you about the plots. Get the book.
Library of America's "Reader's Almanac" blog on David Goodis anthology
Barnes and Noble
Angus Robertson (Australia)
On April 19, 2012 Goodisheads gathered at the Free Library of Philadelphia to celebrate the release of the Goodis anthology. Editor Robert Polito proclaimed, "It's great to be in Goodisville or Goodis Country. How similar things are as when Goodis wrote his novels and how different they are." NoirCON founder Louis Boxer discussed the life of David Goodis. Robert Polito and Geoffrey O'Brien read from Goodis novels. They completed the evening with a panel discussion.
Blogger Adam Finestone joins Goodis acquaintance and public relations specialist Andrew Kevorkian at a publication party at the Pyramid Club. Kevorkian attended the funeral of David Goodis.
Lou Boxer, founder of NoirCON, Robert Poliito, Adam Finestone and Andrew Kevorkian
Educator and writer Ed Petit hosted the panel discussion. Petit is the authority on two great Phliadelphia writers from an earlier age, George Lippard (1822-1854) and Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849). These Philly guys---Goodis, Lippard and Poe---princes of noir.
Louis Boxer, Geoffrey O'Brien and Robert Polito discuss the life and writings of David Goodis
Free Library of Philadelphia PODCAST