When: Wed., Sept. 14, 5-6:30 p.m. 2016
Thanks to such cinematic gems as The Woman in the Window (1944), The Big Sleep (1946) and The Third Man (1949), the term “noir” is more immediately associated with film. But years before filmmakers thought to wrap their fatalistic tendencies and World War II-era cynicism into a gritty, smoky crime-drama format informed by the visual hallmarks of German Expressionism, authors like James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler were defining genres characterized by antiheroes, femmes fatales, private investigators and damsels in distress. Closely related to pulp and “hardboiled” fiction, the ever-influential roman noir acts as a connective thread through a new evening series hosted by literary arts center Gemini Ink. After kicking off with Wednesday’s Nights of Noir Cocktail Party (a free event with light bites, wine and mixed drinks), the program invites bookworms to “roam humanity’s psycho-social depths” via spirited discussions ($20 each or $60 for all four) about Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon (6:30-8pm Wed, Sept. 14), Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity (6:30-8pm Wed, Oct. 12), Dorothy B. Hughes’ In a Lonely Place (6:30-8pm Wed, Nov. 9) and Chester Himes’ The Real Cool Killers (6:30-8pm Wed, Dec. 14).