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Trouble Was His Business -- Raymond Chandler

April 5, 2009 |  9:12 am


THE WRITING LIFE

Judith Freeman on Raymond Chandler

A letter led to friendship with Dorothy Fisher, once Raymond Chandler's secretary.
By Judith Freeman
April 5, 2009
Raymond_chandler The number of people who actually knew Raymond Chandler and who are still alive can pretty much be counted on one hand. Chandler died 50 years ago last week, on March 26, 1959, at the age of 70. Among his surviving friends are Natasha Spender, wife of the late poet Stephen Spender (now in her 90s), and the writer Neil Morgan, who, as a young journalist at the San Diego Tribune, met the writer.

A few other less-well-known individuals still survive and, through an unusual circumstance, I met one of them a little over a year ago. Her name was Dorothy Fisher -- née Gruber. In the fall of 2007, she wrote me a letter after reading a review of my book "The Long Embrace: Raymond Chandler and the Woman He Loved" in this newspaper. She said she'd enjoyed the review very much and was anxious to get my book -- especially, she said, because she had been Chandler's secretary in the 1940s at Paramount Studios. "I have many stories I'd like to tell you, if you're interested," she wrote. "You may not be interested, but if you are, give me a call," and she included her phone number.

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