Hayes's masterpiece is an exquisite depiction of a doomed love affair set in noirish, 1950s New York.
In a Manhattan bar, a middle-aged man tells a pretty girl a story: of how he fell into a relationship with a lonely young divorcee; of how one night she was offered a thousand dollars to sleep with a stranger; and of how he and she would subsequently betray each other in turn. In Alfred Hayes's exquisite novella, love - in all its bewildering turns of longing, elation, heartbreak and regret - is dissected with unforgettable honesty and heartbreaking clarity.
Alfred Hayes (1911-1985) was born in London and grew up in New York, where he later worked as a newspaperman. After joining the army in 1943 he served with the US forces in Italy. While in Rome he met Roberto Rossellini and Federico Fellini on the film Paisà, and began his career in script-writing. He moved to Hollywood to work in the movies and was twice nominated for an Oscar for his scripts. Hayes' seven novels include The Girl on the Via Flaminia (1949) and In Love (1953).