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Walter Mosley on the fantasy of Whiteness and how Dubya was worse than Trump

The award-winning author spoke to Salon about the paucity of writers of color, working with the late John Singleton

Chauncey DeVega,
Salon.com

Walter Mosley (Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)Walter Mosley is one of America’s greatest crime-fiction writers. He is the author of almost 50 books across multiple genres including the bestselling mystery series featuring detective Easy Rawlins. Mosley’s essays on politics and culture have appeared in many leading publications, most notably The New York Times Magazine and The Nation. In September the New York Times featured his widely read op-ed “Why I Quit the Writers’ Room”.

Mosley is also a writer and consulting producer on the FX period crime drama “Snowfall,” which recently wrapped its third season (Seasons 1 and 2 are currently streaming on Hulu) and has been renewed for a fourth.
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An Uncomfortable Conversation In The Writers’ Room

By: Mark Riechers, ttbook.org

Editor’s note: This story includes language some may find offensive. We’ve chosen to leave Mosley’s direct quotes uncensored here, in the broadcast, and in the podcast version of this interview. For a censored version of this episode, go here. For a censored version of this transcript, read the WPR.org version.

It hadn’t occurred to novelist and screenwriter Walter Mosley that what happened in the writers’ room could find its way into a human resources department memo. But when a polite human resources representative called him on the phone to ask why he’d said the “N-word” during a story meeting, he responded, “I am the N-word in the writers’ room.”

Later, he wrote about his experience in an op-ed for the New York Times.

At that moment, Mosley realized he was done working in that room — the sense of trust between writers was shattered. He quit the job that same day.

“How can I exercise these freedoms when my place of employment tells me that my job is on the line if I say a word that makes somebody, an unknown person, uncomfortable?” Mosley wrote.

Mosley said true and complete freedom of expression is a key feature of American culture. That means that we might be made uncomfortable from time to time, but Mosley argues that those should be moments of discussion and debate, not an occasion to email human resources.

He spoke to Charles Monroe-Kane of “To the Best of Our Knowledge” about what happened after that fateful phone call, and why no one should have dominion over what words we can use. Read the rest of this entry »

Bestselling Crime Writer Walter Mosley Will Teach You How To Write A Story

BEVERLY HILLS, CA – AUGUST 06: Walter Mosley of “Snowfall” speaks during the FX segment of the 2019 Summer TCA Press Tour at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on August 6, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amy Sussman/Getty Images)

With Meghna Chakrabarti

A conversation with bestselling writer Walter Mosley about his hard-boiled character Easy Rawlins and a life in crime writing.

Guest

Walter Mosley, American novelist. He has written more than 50 books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His new book is “Elements of Fiction.”

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Walter Mosley in Conversation with Legendary Filmmaker Walter Bernstein

Walter Mosley in Conversation with Legendary Filmmaker Walter Bernstein

I’ve known Walter Bernstein for 30 years. In all my adult life I have never met a more intelligent, loving, sensitive, questioning, heroic man. Whether putting his body in the way to block stones hurled at Paul Robeson or marching across nighttime, Nazi-dominated, Yugoslavia to be the first American to interview the insurgent Josep Broz Tito—a hero in his own right. Walter underwent LSD psycho-therapy in the 1960s and wrote some of the most beautiful scenes ever seen on the movie screens that most often lie to us. He interviewed the great Sugar Ray Robinson while riding shotgun in his pink Cadillac and worked closely with the incomparable Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte.

At once Walter is an original and a filial brother in arms. His convictions and beliefs were often dangerous for him and his loved ones. His socialism, for instance. Many of us, maybe all of us, have convictions and beliefs but how many have the courage to stand up for what we believe and behind others who have no choice but to fight? Not many I think. For this reason alone there is greatness to Mr. Bernstein. Read the rest of this entry »

BookRiot’s 8 of the Best Private Detectives in Mystery Series

Charcoal Joe, by Walter Mosley (Doubleday)

EASY RAWLINS

Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins is an African American World War II veteran turned private detective living in Los Angeles. Starting with author Walter Mosley’s first novel about the detective, Devil in a Blue Dress, the series follows Rawlins as he investigates crimes and navigates the social injustices and race politics of America in the 1940s–’60s. Easy falls into unlicensed private detective work after losing his job at a defense plant. And unlike some other detectives on this list, as an amateur African American private detective, Rawlins is keen to avoid intervention of the police at all costs. In total, Mosley has written 14 novels about the detective, the most recent one being Charcoal Joe in 2016.

(via BookRiot)

Publishers Weekly Review: Elements of Fiction

Elements of Fiction

Walter Mosley. Grove, $23 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8021-4763-9

Drawing on a prolific and successful crime fiction career, Mosley (John Woman) returns to elucidating the author’s craft, after 2007’s This Year You Write Your Novel, in this compact but insight-rich monograph. He addresses plot structure, character development, authorial voice, and the journey from a blank page, the would-be writer’s “first impediment and biggest obstacle,” to the final stage of “putting it all together.” Along the way, Mosley addresses other issues, such as the writer’s sensation of a “loss of control in the face of his or her own story,” and deciding whether or not to enter writing workshops; he warns that “what people, institutions, and economic systems expect should not define you.” Mosley’s fundamental offering, supplemented with some tricks of the trade, is a message of encouragement, as when he addresses the virtue of improvising (“The novel flourishes when its author begins to take risks”) or the value of rewriting (“the beauty of writing that you can go back and make changes that will be everything you meant to say and not one word you didn’t”). Mosley has skillfully packed a large canvas into a small frame, which should equally please readers who enjoy seeing a writer at work and writers in need of assistance. (Sept.)

(via Publishers Weekly)

A treasury of inspiration coming to the Alden, Feb. 24

by Hanan Daqqa / Fairfax County Times
February 22, 2019

Photo by Marcia E Wilson / Photo Courtesy McLean Community Center

The first time I discovered Walter Mosley was when I saw his photo on the front cover of the library’s catalog a few weeks ago. On the cover was an announcement about his upcoming event at McLean Community Center’s Alden Theatre, and I was intrigued by the look in his eyes and the title of the event: “From Generation to Generation: Stories of Fathers and Sons,” so I decided to find out more about him. I found an in-depth, three-hour-interview with him on C-SPAN as part of Book TV’s “In Depth.” I enjoyed every minute of it and I was really inspired. The 2018 interview introduced Mr. Mosley as “the author of over 40 books, including ‘Devil in a Blue Dress,’ ‘Fearless Jones,’ and most recently, ‘Down the River Unto the Sea.’” Currently, his most recent book is “John Woman.”

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American Presidents Can’t Stop Reading Thrillers, Just Like Us

A Century of Crime Fiction Readers in the White House

February 18, 2019, Camille LeBlanc, CrimeReads.com

Bill Clinton

Our mystery-writer-President! And while not all attempts pan out, Clinton is a bibliophile through and through; as one of our best-read presidents, he’s a true fan of crime fiction, a patron of DC’s now defunct MysteryBooks, and a major supporter of his favorite writers: Dennis Lehane, Walter Mosley, Sara Paretsky, and more. At the start of his presidency, he said he read two literary or nonfiction books for each mystery, a ratio that inevitably slid to one-for-one. He also reportedly screened High Noon 17 times at the White House.

(via crimereads.com)

MWA Announces Walter Mosley’s Down the River Unto the Sea Nominated for Best Novel

January 22, 2019, New York, NY – Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 210th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2019 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television published or produced in 2018. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 73rd Gala Banquet, April 25, 2019 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City.

BEST NOVEL

The Liar’s Girl by Catherine Ryan Howard (Blackstone Publishing)
House Witness by Mike Lawson (Grove Atlantic – Atlantic Monthly Press)
A Gambler’s Jury by Victor Methos (Amazon Publishing – Thomas & Mercer)
Down the River Unto the Sea by Walter Mosley (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland)
Only to Sleep by Lawrence Osborne (Penguin Random House – Hogarth)
A Treacherous Curse by Deanna Raybourn (Penguin Random House – Berkley)

Read the rest of the nominations on the MWA Site

Southwest Books of the Year: Ring in 2019 with some regional reads

Arizona Daily Star
Jan 6, 2019

If you’ve been looking to sink your teeth into some southwestern-themed literature, we have a list of the best reads of 2018 courtesy the Pima County Public Library and Friends of the Pima County Public Library.

The 42nd annual edition of “Southwest Books of the Year: Best Reading 2018” looks to shine a light on titles about Southwest subjects or that are set in the Southwest.

The top picks were reviewed by a panel of six subject specialists and come recommended by two or more panelists.

Selections range from fiction and mysteries to history, poetry, art, food, and nature writing — all specific to our corner of the planet.

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