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Sample Autograph Signature: Howard Fast

American author of fiction, screen and TV plays, poetry, and adult and juvenile non-fiction. Howard Melvin Fast (1914 2003), who was the son a factory worker in New York City's garment district, wrote without the benefit of more than a high school education and attendance at the National Academy of Design in New York. At 17 he sold a story to Amazing Stories magazine, and the next year published his first novel, Two Villages. Thereafter, he produced about 42 novels, 24 mysteries, 140 short stories, 11 books for juveniles, 8 non-ficiton books, 22 screen and TV plays, and even some poetry - not to mention assorted radical left pamphlets and leaflets. His first popular work was Citizen Tom Paine, but he is best known for his novel Spartacus which was adapted for a 1960 film by the same name. Fast had joined the American Communist Party in 1944, and even served as a staff writer for the Daily Worker. He was called before Senator McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee and imprisoned for 3 months in 1950 for refusing to name the contributors (one of which was Eleanor Roosevelt) to a fund for an orphanage for children of American Spanish Civil War veterans. While in prison he began writing Spartacus, but was subsequently blacklisted and forced to self-publish the novel as the Blue Heron Press. During this period he used the pseudonym E. V. Cunningham, under which he published 20 detective novels. Fast left the Communist Party in 1956 disillusioned, and published The Naked God: The Writer and the Communist Party in 1957, which was followed in 1990 by Being Red: A Memoir (1990). He continued to write prolifically from the 1950s through the 1990s, never ceasing to write political novels which continued to bring him commercial success. In the mid 1970s he relocated to California where he added television scripts to his bibliography. Up until this time, he contributed short stories to numerous magazines. In addition to Spartacus, 18 other films have been based on his work.

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