Cornell Woolrich is widely regarded as the twentieth century’s finest writer of pure suspense fiction. Author of numerous classic novels and short stories (many turned into classic films) such as Rear Window, The Bride Wore Black, The Night Has a Thousand Eyes, and I Married a Dead Man, Woolrich began writing in the 1920s with novels that won him comparisons to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
The bulk of his best-known work, however, was written in the field of crime fiction, often appearing serialized in pulp magazines or as paperback novels. Because he was prolific, he found it necessary to publish under multiple pseudonyms, including “William Irish” and “George Hopley”; it was under the latter name that he originally published Fright, and until Hard Case Crime’s edition it has never appeared under his real name. Woolrich lived a life as dark and emotionally tortured as any of his unfortunate characters and died, alone, in a seedy Manhattan hotel room following the amputation of a gangrenous leg. Upon his death, he left a bequest of one million dollars to Columbia University, to fund a scholarship for young writers.