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book cover of First You Dream, Then You Die

First You Dream, Then You Die

A non fiction book by

Cornell Woolrich was called the Poe of the 20th century and the poet of its shadows. He lived a life of such deep despair and terror that he could do nothing with its experiences but put them between the covers of some of the century's finest novels of suspense.

Born the child of a broken marriage in 1903, Woolrich spent his childhood in revolutionary Mexico, coming to New York in his teens. While still a student at Columbia, he sold the first of several mainstream novels, which led critics to compare him with F. Scott Fitzgerald.

During the 1930s and '40s, when he was acclaimed as the preeminent author of American suspense fiction, Woolrich lived with his mother in an apartment-hotel near Harlem. After her death in 1957, Woolrich became a self-imposed prisoner in a series of lonely hotel rooms until his death in 1968. Few attended his funeral, and his million-dollar fortune was left to Columbia University to establish a scholarship fund.

Though he perceived himself as a failure, Woolrich's work was a critical and financial success. His novels, such as 'The Bride Wore black,' 'Phantom Lady' and 'Deadline at Dawn,' inspired the French roman noir and film noir. His novella 'Rear Window' became one of Alfred Hitchcock's most acclaimed films.

In this authoritative study, Edgar Award-winner Francis M. Nevins, Jr., explores the doom-haunted life and world of America's master of suspense.


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Hardback Editions

September 1988 : USA Hardback

Title: Cornell Woolrich: First You Dream, Then You Die
Author(s): Francis M Nevins
ISBN: 0-89296-297-6 / 978-0-89296-297-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Availability: Amazon CA