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Killer Nashville Rose Gold Review

Rose GoldRose Gold, by Walter Mosley
Review by Alycia Gilbert

Set in the corrupt, racially charged Los Angeles of the late 1960s, Walter Mosley’s Rose Gold examines its social backdrop as much as its detective examines the mystery within it. Rose Gold is the newest addition to Mosley’s Easy Rawlins mysteries, but can be readily enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.

Private detective Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins finds himself entangled in jurisdictions and lies as he investigates the kidnapping of Rosemary Goldsmith, daughter of a military weapons developer, and her involvement with boxer-turned political activist Bob Mantle. As Rosemary’s case unfolds, Easy delves deeper into the world of communes and revolutionaries while relying on old friends and favors to help his investigation along. To clear names, navigate additional cases, and find Rosemary Goldsmith, Easy Rawlins will have to work his way through blatant prejudice and constant misdirection.

Rose Gold is more a mystery of connections than a thriller, with a constant, steady pace that picks up toward the climax of the novel. Mosley’s grasp on the culture of Vietnam-era L.A. is organic, and his use of setting will delight readers. His writing style is straightforward and easy to process, and is laced with moments of original, beautiful description.

Readers who are unfamiliar with the rest of the Easy Rawlins mysteries may find themselves overwhelmed by the number of characters in this novel, as they will have to meet both old and new figures and sort through their involvement. Those looking for a mystery with a smooth pace, humor, and a very involved narrator and those who are interested in postwar social interactions will find Mosley’s narrative captivating.

(via Killer Nashville)

The Carpentry of My Education

Walter MosleyJust before I was to enter the first grade, my parents decided that they needed a coffee table in the living room. That was back in the days when, in Los Angeles, there were two entry periods for the first grade: those children born nearest June started in September, and those whose birthdays occurred closer to December started in January. My birthday is January 12th, and so I matriculated at the top of 1958.

Somehow my parents decided that their table should also be my Christmas gift. They found an offer, from an encyclopedia company I think, that was a solid maple table with glass-covered bookshelves on either end. In these shelves resided, spine up, 12 red, clothbound volumes of fairy tales that were designed for young readers from 6 to 12 years in age. The first two books were for six-year-olds; the third and fourth volumes were for second graders, etc. It was, for me, an entire lifetime of reading there at the table where my parents entertained guests and watched the evening news.

I remember sitting on the floor next to that table reading those books I could and paging through the ones I didn’t fully understand. All the volumes were illustrated, and they felt big and fancy.

I don’t remember much about the stories, but that’s where I first met the elephant-king Babar and the little lost fairy named Poppy.

This Christmas gift was transformative for me because it was so beautiful, meant to last, and it was also a part of my parents, making the house we lived in a part of me. That’s what reading is — a way to socialize and civilize, the glue that holds us together.

Now in my later years, much older than my parents were when they gave me that exquisite present, all I have of those books is the nostalgia in my heart for the carpentry of my education and the love bound up in those big red books.

(via: BookReporter.com)

Whodunit: mini reviews of mysteries

Rose Gold, By Walter Mosley
Doubleday, 309 pages, $30

Rose GoldEasy Rawlins, the black Los Angeles PI, is an inventive investigator and usually finds himself in intricate cases. But sometimes, reading the Rawlins books—this is the 13th—the plots seem excuses for Mosely to examine the psychological and linguistic complications that a black man with smarts experiences in interactions with the white world. The new book, set in 1974, offers such encounters in steady doses. Easy’s job is to run down a billionaire’s daughter who has either been kidnapped by a gang of radicals or, in the Patty Hearst model, has willingly joined them. On the way to the solution, the smooth, nervy Rawlins talks himself past countless varieties of nastiness.

(via thestar.com)

Mosley’s ‘Lift’ expands beyond walls

Mosley’s ‘Lift’ expands beyond walls

Ironically, the setting of Walter Mosley’s tragedy, “Lift,” is within the confines of an elevator. The two main characters, young Black professionals, discuss broader issues of race, class and relationships. Under the skilled direction of Marshall Jones III, Maameya Boafo and Biko Eisen-Martin breathe an attractive chemistry and depth into their roles as strangers trapped indefinitely in an elevator in their corporate office building. Read the rest of this entry »

In My Library

The Sixth Annual Norman Mailer Center And Writers Colony Benefit Gala Honoring Don DeLillo, Billy Collins, And Katrina vanden Heuvel - InsideWalter Mosley is tired of hearing how his City College of New York writing teacher, Irish novelist Edna O’Brien, told him to mine his background: “You’re black, Jewish, with a poor upbringing,” she told him. “There are riches therein.” But O’Brien gave him much more than that: “No one needs to tell me I’m black and Jewish,” he says. “Edna said I should write a novel, and I went out and wrote one.” He’s since written about three dozen of them, including a bestselling mystery series featuring a hardboiled detective named Easy Rawlins (“Devil in a Blue Dress”). Now Mosley’s making his NYC theatrical debut with his play, “Lift,” at off-Broadway’s 59E59 theaters, about two co-workers’ close encounter in an elevator. Here’s what’s in his library.

Walter Mosley-Inspired CCNY Program Still Going Strong

Walter MosleyOn his return to The City College of New York Friday, November 21, to receive the Langston Hughes Medal, authorWalter Mosley, ’91MA, will reunite with one of his enduring contributions to his alma mater: CCNY’s Publishing Certificate Program (PCP).

Mr. Mosley inspired the creation of the program in 1997 to help address the lack of diversity in the book publishing industry. Headed by award-winning author David Unger, it offers courses and seminars to both undergraduates and non-matriculated students to prepare them for careers in publishing.

Nearly 300 students have graduated from the program, close to 40 percent of whom have worked in the publishing industry.

Mr. Mosley is the best-selling author of more than 40 acclaimed books, which have been translated into 21 languages. He will receive the 2014 Langston Hughes Medal at City College’s Langston Hughes Festival at 6:30 p.m. in the Marian Anderson Theatre in Aaron Davis Hall on the CCNY campus.

The Medal is awarded to highly distinguished writers from throughout the African American diaspora for their impressive works of poetry, fiction, drama, autobiography and critical essays that help to celebrate the memory and tradition of Langston Hughes.

Read the complete article on the CCNY site.

There is no “white” race

CBS News asked noted figures in the arts, business and politics about their experience in today’s civil rights movement, or about figures who inspired them in their activism.

Walter Mosley, author (the Easy Rawlins mysteries); winner, PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Walter Mosley /  Marcia Wilson

Walter Mosley / Marcia Wilson

What needs to happen in the next 50 years for equality to be fully realized in the U.S.?

Equality (which defines freedom in any society) is a complex issue that cannot be achieved by any one action. People who suffer inequality are in many categories, because of their sexual preference, age, nationality, religion, race, gender, politics, wealth (or lack thereof), infirmity, and/or simply for being different.

 
 

This being said, I will try to propose a suggestion for one solution that will definitely impact racial inequality and might possibly have ameliorating influence on the other prejudices.

The white race is a fiction created by aggressive colonization and slavery. In the colonies destined to become the United States, the European colonists found themselves pitted against the indigenous (red) people while enslaving Africans (blacks). In between these two colors, the white race was born, creating an antithetical identity that distinguished the supposed rightful owners from the slaves and (so-called) primitives. White was not a racial identifier in ancient Europe. In Britain alone, there was a plethora of races: Celts, Anglo-Saxons, Norse, Scots, Druids, and subgroups such as the Picts. There were as many races as there were languages in old Europe, but when colonization began, they founded an illusory identity where Christian men of European descent were called white regardless of their coloring, features or culture. Florid-faced, pale-skinned, olive-hued, and pink people of every size and build were called white people, and they still cling to that identity today.

If the members of the so-called white race dropped that fallacious appellation, racism in America (the United States) would be over. There is no race, just a whole bunch of people who look more or less alike.

So the next time someone asks you if you believe that we live in a post-racial world, say to them, “That depends, do you believe that you are white?”

Read the article on CBSNews.com.

LIFT Replaces GHOST STORIES in 59E59 Theaters’ 5A Season

59E59

59E59 Theaters announces that the Crossroads Theater Company production of acclaimed novelist Walter Mosley’s LIFT will replace GHOST STORIES as part of 59E59’s inaugural 5A Season for an October premiere.

“GHOST STORIES needed a very specific stage configuration to pull off the special effects, and unfortunately they just could not make it work in Theater A,” explained 59E59 Theaters’ Founder and Artistic Director Elysabeth Kleinhans. “However, this gives us the opportunity to present a spectacular new play by a leading American novelist. It’s a very exciting production, and we are honored to bring it to New York.” Read the rest of this entry »

OxCrimes: 27 Killer Stories

OxCrimes

Following the success of OxTales and OxTravels, this collection of crime writing is the latest Oxfam fundraiser, introduced by Britain’s greatest crime writer, Ian Rankin, and featuring a compelling cast of suspects.

For 2014, Oxfam and Profile have turned to crime in order to raise a further £200,000 for Oxfam’s work.

OxCrimes is introduced by Ian Rankin and has been curated by Peter Florence, director of Hay Festival, where it will be launched in May. The stellar cast of contributors will include Walter Mosley, Mark Billingham, Alexander McCall Smith, Anthony Horowitz, Val McDermid, Peter James, Adrian McKinty, Denise Mina, Louise Welsh and a host of other compelling suspects.

Pre-Order OxCrimes:

AmazonWaterstones

Don’t Press the Up Button

by Michael Sommers, The New York Times

With best-selling mysteries like “Devil in a Blue Dress” among his more than three dozen books, Walter Mosley is a master of crime fiction who knows how to put his characters into tight, scary situations. In “Lift,” his new drama of suspense that begins performances on April 10 atCrossroads Theater Company in New Brunswick, the writer traps two strangers within an urban nightmare: Inside a damaged elevator that is stuck high up in a burning skyscraper.

Disturbing undertones of Sept. 11 aside, Mr. Mosley said his dramatic fiction was mostly about revealing the inner lives of the characters who are grappling with such terrors. “They are those average-looking people you see beside you every day who have interesting back stories that you wouldn’t ever suspect,” he said in a telephone interview from his home in Brooklyn. Read the rest of this entry »