Charlotte Jay's The Yellow Turban (1955) has the following, among other memorable observations, in its opening pages:
"We had all been at Cambridge together. By that I mean Arthur and Roy were undergraduates when I was working as junior assistant in a rather seedy bookshop off the Newmarket Road. But my lack of social and scholastic distinction had not worried Roy, and what did not worry Roy did not worry Arthur — in those days."Then there's Fantômas, familiar to readers of this blog from my recent posts about Louis Feuillade's silent-movie serials of 1913 and 1914, but before and after the centerpiece of many novels by Marcel Allain and Pierre Souvestre.
I don't know many crime novels that alongside blurbs from the Village Voice and the Washington Post could carry testimonials from Jean Cocteau and Guillaume Apollinaire, but Fantômas (1911) does. This bit of dialogue might help explain why:
"`Sir,' she said, `I do not know if you are joking or if you are talking seriously, but your behavior is extraordinary, hateful, disgusting—'
"`It is merely original, Princess ...'"
The first author of any nationality to win? The aforementioned Australian, Charlotte Jay, for Beat Not the Bones in 1954.
© Peter Rozovsky 2010