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Conversations with Walter Mosley

Owen E. Brady

Publication Year: 2011

The interviews in this collection cover Walter Mosley's career and reveal an overarching theme: a belief in the transformative power of reading and writing. Since the 1990 publication of his first novel, Devil in a Blue Dress , Mosley (b. 1952) has published over thirty books in a tremendous range of genres and modes: crime and detective fiction, science fiction, literary novels of ideas, character studies, political and social nonfiction, erotica, and memoir. Best known for his Easy Rawlins detective series and Socrates Fortlow series of crime novels, Mosley has created a body of work that as a whole chronicles and examines twentieth-century African American experience. Conversations with Walter Mosley covers the breadth of Mosley's career and reveals a craftsman and wryly witty conversationalist. Conscious of his forebears as well as literary techniques, he discusses favorites and influences including Camus, Shakespeare, and Dickens as well as writers in popular genres, especially speculative fiction and the hard-boiled noir detective tradition. He also discusses how his work modifies the crime tradition to engage it with black experience.

Published by: University Press of Mississippi

Contents

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p. -

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Introduction

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pp. ix-xix

Walter Mosley is a prolific and protean writer, critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Starting relatively late on a writing career has spurred Mosley’s astounding output and virtuosity in the twenty years ...

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Chronology

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pp. xxi-xxiv

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Walter Mosley

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pp. 3-15

Novelist Walter Mosley, forty-one, already a cult favorite among mystery readers, suddenly appeared on television and in the papers in January when ...

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The Other Side of Those Mean Streets

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pp. 16-28

Walter Mosley achieved instant recognition with the publication of his first Easy Rawlins book, Devil in a Blue Dress (1990). The critics were uniformly complimentary about the novel. They loved his historical re-creation of postwar Los Angeles and the unique voice he had captured with his ...

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Walter Mosley’s Secret Stories: A Ride with a Mystery Writer Who Evokes the Unclichéd

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pp. 29-41

Midafternoon, and we are sailing. The wide span of Century Boulevard seems vast in its possibilities, a seductive expanse with room to roam or expand. At quick glimpse, it is sparkling, but a brief pause at a light reveals something quite different—a poorly patched facade, a wall of chain ...

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The Monday Interview: Walter Mosley

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pp. 42-46

The Los Angeles Times sees him as a preeminent spokesman for America’s blacks. President Clinton is his most famous fan. The New York Times Book Review says he is “one of America’s best mystery writers.” British newspapers have referred to him as “the most important black literary figure since James Baldwin.” So what does Walter Mosley, forty-three, America’s hottest black author, think of himself...

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Walter Mosley Writers Institute Seminar and Evening Reading

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pp. 47-65

Donald Faulkner : I want to say that Walter Mosley is a man of his word. He was willing to come and visit with us last fall, and that afforded us a great opportunity to have an advanced screening of Devil in a Blue Dress. It was... the first event in the Writers Institute’s fall 1995 series, and it was also my own inaugural event with the Institute. Today’s event is also special. I first met

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Walter Mosley, 1998

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pp. 66-74

Another New York City day lowers to a livable pitch. Walter Mosley, the acclaimed mystery writer, sits behind a large wooden desk in a chair that resembles a medieval oak throne, talking with loud inflections that bounce off the walls. Mosley is the king of all his imagination, ...

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Interview with Walter Mosley January 1999

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pp. 75-85

Sam Coale: You have said that you wrote a single sentence one day which spoke to you and that that got you started as a writer. Could you explain this ...

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On the Chain Gang

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pp. 86-90

Elizabeth Farnsworth: The new book is Workin’ on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History by Walter Mosley. His first nonfiction book, it looks at what he calls “the chains that define our range of motion.” ...

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Eavesdropping with Walter Mosley and Colson Whitehead

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pp. 91-98

Lured by the dual promises of a midday meal at a famous Brooklyn eatery and the opportunity to meet an admired colleague, Colson Whitehead and Walter Mosley accepted an invitation from Book to dine at Junior’s Restaurant a couple of months before Whitehead’s second ...

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BookMuse Interview with Walter Mosley

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pp. 99-106

.Gail David-Tellis: Thank you for talking to me. I have some questions and some are kind of longwinded, so feel free to do with them whatever you...

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Walter Mosley Talks Technology, Race, and His Return Trip into Futureland

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pp. 107-111

Walter Mosley was not met with open arms by publishers when he sent his first novel out in 1989. As he tells it, their response was, “Well, you have to understand. White people don’t read about black people. Black women don’t like black men. And black men don’t read.” Mosley thankfully did not listen ...

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Walter Mosley: A Seat at the Table

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pp. 112-121

Walter [Ellis] Mosley was born January 12, 1952, in Los Angeles, California, and grew up in South Central L.A. In 1972, he moved to the East Coast and attended college in Vermont and Massachusetts before graduating in 1977 from Johnson State College, Vermont, with a BA in political science. In 1982 ...

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Taking a Stand with Walter Mosley

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pp. 122-126

PA: The mystery writer and commentator Gary Phillips wrote an article in Colorlines magazine in which he says that who gets killed in America, and why and who pays are themes central to the lives of people of color and the disenfranchised. He says no literary form is more conducive to delving into this than the mystery/crime novel. What do you think?...

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Walter Mosley: Fearless and Easy

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pp. 127-135

When Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress debuted in 1990, he was purported to be one of two black writers working in the crime fiction genre. His series of Easy Rawlins novels—popular with critics, readers, and a former ...

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Interview with Walter Mosley

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pp. 136-155

Paula Woods: Welcome. Thank you so much for coming out. Thank you so much for this tribute, which will be one of many for our guest of honor. I think it’s probably useless for me to introduce Walter Mosley, but I will ...

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Walter Mosley, Uneasy Street

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pp. 156-164

On August 11, 1965, a routine traffic stop in a residential section of South Central Los Angeles known as Watts sparked the largest riots in American history. Over the next six days, thirty-four people were killed, more than a ...

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Walter Mosley Interview

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pp. 165-172

Walter Mosley: Wow! Paula Woods: Welcome. Thank you so much for coming out. Thank you so much for this tribute, which will be one of many for our guest of honor. I think it’s probably useless for me to introduce Walter Mosley, but I will try. Hopefully you read my appreciation of him, and those of you who have, know that he is probably one of the more prolific writers you will see at Left Coast Crime this weekend. He has written eight Easy Rawlins novels and a prequel...

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Walter Mosley’s Search for Context

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pp. 173-176

Walter Mosley’s latest monograph, Life Out of Context, is a cognitive journey that tackles the big questions many of us have furtively attempted to answer. How can we make a difference in a topsy-turvy world where average ...

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A Conversation with Walter Mosley

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pp. 177-186

. We aren’t yet halfway through 2006 and the talented Walter Mosley has already published four books—The Wave (science-fiction), Life Out of Con-text (political meditations), Cinnamon Kiss (an Easy Rawlins mystery), and his latest, Fortunate Son, which is literary fiction, a beautiful, involving, and ...

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Hardboiled to Hardcore: Interview with Walter Mosley

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pp. 187-191

Walter Mosley calls his new book a sexistential noir. Seeing that Killer Johnny Fry mixes incest with loneliness, golden showers with ennui, and strap-ons with a longing for connection, the description fits like a latex ...

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Walter Mosley

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pp. 192-197

Good news for Walter Mosley fans. His favorite detective, Easy Ra-lins, is back. However, the bad news is it may be for the last time. The new book from the award-winning author is called Blonde Faith and is the tenth ...

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Interview: Walter Mosley

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pp. 198-202

.For fans of mystery novels, Walter Mosley needs no introduction. Mosley is best known for his Easy Rawlins mysteries such asDevil in a Blue Dress and Six Easy Piece s, but his literary prowess spans several genres. In under twen-...

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PIP—The Fall of Heaven —Walter Mosley

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pp. 203-208

WVXU: It seems likely that you’ve read something by my guest this evening on “Around Cincinnati.” Novelist Walter Mosley is one of America’s most versatile and prolific writers. His output over the past two decades includes... more than twenty-five works of fiction, and he can count among his fans movie stars and at least one

Index

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pp. 209- 215


E-ISBN-13: 9781604739442
E-ISBN-10: 1604739444
Print-ISBN-13: 9781604739435
Print-ISBN-10: 1604739436

Page Count: 256
Publication Year: 2011