Irvine Welsh

Nelson Algren was born in 1909 in Detroit and lived mostly in Chicago. His life was a succession of compulsive gambling, disastrous marriages and wild extremes - ranging from Texas prisons and skid-row soup-kitchens to Hollywood parties. He also had a passionate love affair with French feminist Simone de Beauvoir while she was living with Jean-Paul Sartre.

Algren received the inaugural National Book Award for The Man with the Golden Arm. He died in 1981, shortly after being appointed as a fellow of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters.

He was many men and no man at all. He was a hysterical little bundle of possibilities that could never come true.

The Man With the Golden Arm

Nelson Algren

Everything was beautiful. The merchandise was moving like crazy. I was sure that when I got back home for the summer I would have enough scratch to turn everybody green with envy

Pimp: The Story Of My Life