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Wednesday, 27 May 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #40 – 27 May 1894

Novel and short story writer Dashiell Hammett was born in Maryland on 27 May, 1894.  He was described as “the dean of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction” in the New York Times.

He created Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, Nick and Nora Charles in the Thin Man and The Continental Op in The Dain Curse.

He was a war veteran and a political activist who was blacklisted for refusing to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee in the era of McCarthyism.

Hammett died at 66 in a Manhattan hospital of lung cancer and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

He more than made his mark in literature and films.

From The Thin Man: “The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.” 

Sources: Wikipedia, IMDB

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