LaRC announces the papers of James Sallis
Sallis was born in Helena, Arkansas in 1944 and grew up listening to Sonny Boy Williamson on KFFA radio, reading the mysteries of Chester Himes and Jim Thompson, and roaming the banks of the Mississippi. He began publishing in science fiction and mystery anthologies and magazines in the 1960s, including moving to London to edit the acclaimed science fiction publication, New Worlds. In the 1970s, he published the mixed experimental collection of short stories and poetry called A Few Last Words and edited two science fiction anthologies, including The War Book and The Shores Beneath.
During the 1990s, Sallis and his wife lived in New Orleans where he started writing The Long Legged Fly, the first novel in the Lew Griffin series. During the 1990s, Sallis four additional novels featuring Lew Griffin, including Moth and Black Hornet. He also published his translation of Saint Glinglin and republished his 1982 nonfiction book about jazz guitarists, The Guitar Players: One Instrument and Its Masters in American Music.
The James Sallis papers include short story drafts, scripts and script revisions, and some poetry. The materials in the collection span from 1981-1999 just prior to the release of the penultimate novel in the Lew Griffin series, Bluebottle. Sallis would write an additional entry to this series in 2003 called Ghost of a Flea before starting a new mystery series, Drive. The first novel of the same name in that series would be made into a hit Hollywood movie starring Ryan Gosling. Sallis has continued to write mysteries and edit critical anthologies of genre writers such as Chester Himes, whose papers can be found at Amistad Research Center.
The James Sallis papers are currently open for research. The finding aid can be found here.
Written by Andrew Mullins.