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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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It’s Up to Us: A Roundtable Discussion

Gone Fishin' By Kellye Garrett
November 26, 2018
www.lareviewofbooks.org

THIS PAST SUMMER, Walter Mosley, Agatha Award–winning writer Gigi Pandian, and I started a group for crime writers of color. Within two months, the group went from the three of us to having over 80 writers — all in various stages of our careers. We cheer the ups, commiserate with the downs, and brainstorm ways to ensure the appallingly low number of mysteries published by writers of color continues to grow.

It was during one of those brainstorming discussions that the idea for this roundtable took shape. The group was discussing how best to diversify conference panels. I mentioned how I’d love to see a panel featuring black mystery writers who first published in different decades to see what had gotten easier, what had gotten harder, and what had stayed the same.

Steph Cha messaged me suggesting that it might work as a roundtable discussion. I knew exactly who I wanted to invite — and was thrilled when they all immediately said yes. The resulting conversation is enlightening and a great inside look at what it’s like to be a black mystery writer.

Read the rest of the discussion

Past Tense: California: State of Change

Photos by Bob Martin for The New York Times

As Seen by The New York Times
November 10, 2018

In California, there were deserts and mountains, vast farmlands and a thousand miles of publicly owned beach. There were people from everywhere and opportunity that only a country like America could offer the working man or woman, and their children, too. From San Francisco to San Diego, from Hollywood to the world, California offered succor, health and, oddly, anonymity. If you didn’t like the view, you moved. If the boss gave you grief, you dropped him.

The sun shone mercilessly, but no one asked for mercy.

Everybody was rich because anything was possible.

Read the entire essay on Past Tense

18 Brilliant Books for Fall: John Woman

John WomanJohn Woman
By Walter Mosley
320 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press
Available at:

Amazon.com | Barnes & Noble |iBooks | IndieBound
After murdering a man, 17-year-old Cornelius flees New York, adopts a new name, and gains fame for the provocative ideas he’s borrowed from his dead father. An intellectual romp by the renowned mystery writer.
— Hamilton Cain

(via oprah.com)

John Woman

John Woman

AmazonB&NYour local bookstore Available: Sept 4, 2018

A convention-defying novel by bestselling writer Walter Mosley, John Woman recounts the transformation of an unassuming boy named Cornelius Jones into John Woman, an unconventional history professor―while the legacy of a hideous crime lurks in the shadows.

At twelve years old, Cornelius, the son of an Italian-American woman and an older black man from Mississippi named Herman, secretly takes over his father’s job at a silent film theater in New York’s East Village. Five years later, as Herman lives out his last days, he shares his wisdom with his son, explaining that the person who controls the narrative of history controls their own fate. After his father dies and his mother disappears, Cornelius sets about reinventing himself―as Professor John Woman, a man who will spread Herman’s teachings into the classrooms of his unorthodox southwestern university and beyond. But there are other individuals who are attempting to influence the narrative of John Woman, and who might know something about the facts of his hidden past.

Engaging with some of the most provocative ideas of recent intellectual history, John Woman is a compulsively readable, deliciously unexpected novel about the way we tell stories, and whether the stories we tell have the power to change the world.

Walter Mosley: Enough with the Victors Writing History

They burn whatever and whoever disagrees with our conception of the world

September 5, 2108
By Walter Mosley
LitHub.com

For more than 15 years I’ve been working on a novel called John Woman. You might say that I’ve been pondering this idea my entire adult life, ever since I enrolled at the radical arts institution, Goddard College, up in Vermont.

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Get2Know: Walter Mosley (The Tea)

Walter Mosley talks about Down the River Unto the Sea with The Tea.

(via Youtube)

WPKN Community Radio Interview with Novelist Walter Mosley

Kevin Gallagher: My guest on this segment is one of my favorite authors Walter Mosley creator of the Easy Rawlins Detective series. Some of you may only know of his work through the movie Devil with the Blue Dress, with Denzel Washington, but he is much more than that. Walter Mosley is here on the occasion of the publishing of his latest novel “Down the River Unto the Sea” which features yet another new memorable fictional Detective “Joe King Oliver”.

Interview on SoundCloud

The Tea May Book Selection: Down The River Unto The Sea

The Tea reviews “Down The River Unto The Sea” as part of their May Book Selection.

Down the River unto the Sea

Down the River unto the SeaIntroducing King Oliver

AmazonB&NYour local bookstore Available: February 20, 2018

On February 20th, Mulholland Books will publish a new novel from Walter Mosley titled Down the River Unto the Sea. In this book a former NYPD cop once imprisoned for a crime he did not commit must solve two cases: that of a man wrongly condemned to die, and his own.

Joe King Oliver was one of the NYPD’s finest investigators, until, dispatched to arrest a well-heeled car thief, he is framed for assault by his enemies within the NYPD, a charge which lands him in solitary at Rikers Island.

A decade later, King is a private detective, running his agency with the help of his teenage daughter, Aja-Denise. Broken by the brutality he suffered and committed in equal measure while behind bars, his work and his daughter are the only light in his solitary life. When he receives a card in the mail from the woman who admits she was paid to frame him those years ago, King realizes that he has no choice but to take his own case: figuring out who on the force wanted him disposed of—and why.

Running in parallel with King’s own quest for justice is the case of a Black radical journalist accused of killing two on-duty police officers who had been abusing their badges to traffic in drugs and women within the city’s poorest neighborhoods.

Joined by Melquarth Frost, a brilliant sociopath, our hero must beat dirty cops and dirtier bankers, craven lawyers, and above all keep his daughter far from the underworld in which he works. All the while, two lives hang in the balance: King’s client’s, and King’s own.