The typical description of Chester Himes is of an author who spent time in prison and eventually became an expatriate. However, between the years of 1909 and 1984, Chester Himes lived an extraordinary life of letters and contrition. The racial climate in America that molded Himes allowed him to write extraordinarily insightful novels ranging from the psychological to the hard-boiled. A frequent theme in Himes’ novels is the struggle of a Black man to exist in a racially oppressive society. Himes himself remarked that many of his characters reflected his own experiences in America, particularly those of Jesse Robinson, the protagonist of The End of a Primitive. I suggest starting with If He Hollers Let Him Go and follow with All Shot Up.