The Man with the Golden Arm by Nelson Algren
The Man with the Golden Arm is a novel by Nelson Algren that recounts the life of "Frankie Machine", a card-dealer in an illicit poker game being run not far from the tenement in which he lives. Machine is a morphine junkie just back to Chicago's Near Northwest Side after detoxing in the federal prison for narcotics addicts in Louisville, Kentucky, being exposed again to all the pressures, anxieties and temptations that put him there in the first place. Published by Doubleday in November 1949, this very dark novel won the first National Book Award in 1950. One of the seminal novels of post-World War II American letters, The Man with the Golden Arm is widely considered Algren's greatest and most enduring work.