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Author Walter Mosley talks about creating, killing and reviving Easy Rawlins

Walter MosleySOUTH BEND — At the end of the novel “Blonde Faith,” Walter Mosley decided that Easy Rawlins, his most famous character, had to die.

So after 11 Easy Rawlins novels since “Devil in a Blue Dress” debuted in 1990, Mosley decided to allow Rawlins to have a fatal accident at the end of “Blonde Faith” in 2007.

Mosley told an audience at the St. Joseph County Public Library that he didn’t know where to take Rawlins, the black World War II veteran private eye whom the world first met in “Devil in a Blue Dress.”

“‘Blonde Faith’ was a very romantic novel in a way and I really liked that,” he said. “I enjoyed it, but I felt that I was repeating myself.” Read the rest of this entry »

Novelist Walter Mosley Talks Luke Cage, Colorism, and Why Spider-Man Was the ‘First Black Superhero’

Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley, comics geek.
Photo: Desiree Navarro/WireImage

Whatever you think of Marvel’s Luke Cage, you can’t say it’s not literate. A bevy of books are either seen or name-checked throughout the latest Netflix superhero series, and one that gets a particularly bright place in the spotlight is Little Green, a novel by one of the most prolific and acclaimed living crime-fiction writers, Walter Mosley. In the second episode, two of the leads debate the comparative merits of Mosley and fellow African-American crime novelist Donald Goines — and the one going to bat for Mosley is none other than the title character. As it turns out, the feeling of respect is mutual: Mosley is a longtime superhero-comics geek and grew up reading Luke’s initial comic-book adventures in the early 1970s. We caught up with the author to talk respectability politics, the thorny issue of colorism, and why he thinks Spider-Man was the first black superhero.

Read the rest of this entry »

Walter Mosley on Little Green

Walter Mosley and Ta-Nehisi Coates

On Friday, May 31 at 4:00pm EDT, The New York Times Bestselling author Walter Mosley talks about his book LITTLE GREEN, with Ta-Nehisi Coates, Senior Editor, The Atlantic. Watch the conversation live, here.

 

Walter Mosley revisits Easy Rawlins’ neighborhood

Author Walter Mosley. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

Author Walter Mosley. (Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

The Writer’s Life, By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic

When last we saw Walter Mosley’s detective Easy Rawlins, he had just lost control of a car he was driving on the Pacific Coast Highway north of Malibu. This was in the closing pages of the 11th (and apparently final) Rawlins book, “Blonde Faith,” published in 2007. “The back of my car hit something hard,” Easy tells us, “a boulder no doubt. Something clenched down on my left foot and pain lanced up my leg. I ignored this, though, realizing that in a few seconds, I’d be dead.”

And yet, six years later, Easy is back, narrating a new novel, “Little Green” (Doubleday: 292 pp., $25.95), that picks up where “Blonde Faith” left off. He is, if not entirely alive, then at least present, navigating a 1967 Los Angeles he barely recognizes in the wake of both the Watts riots and the Summer of Love.

“It was great,” Mosley enthuses, “because for all intents and purposes, Easy was dead. And when he came back to consciousness, he felt dead. … Most of my novels are about redemption. But ‘Little Green’ is about resurrection. And so, I naturally followed it, from having him wake up dead to, at the end of the book, actually being alive.” Read the rest of this entry »

Little Green

Little GreenWhen Walter Mosley burst onto the literary scene in 1990 with his first Easy Rawlins mystery, Devil in a Blue Dress—a combustible mixture of Raymond Chandler and Richard Wright—he captured the attention of hundreds of thousands of readers (including future president Bill Clinton). Eleven books later, Easy Rawlins is one of the few private eyes in contemporary crime fiction who can be called iconic and immortal. In the incendiary and fast-paced Little Green, he returns from the brink of death to investigate the dark side of L.A.’s 1960s hippie haven, the Sunset Strip.

We last saw Easy in 2007’s Blonde Faith, fighting for his life after his car plunges over a cliff. True to form, the tough WWII veteran survives, and soon his murderous sidekick Mouse has him back cruising the mean streets of L.A., in all their psychedelic 1967 glory, to look for a young black man, Evander “Little Green” Noon, who disappeared during an acid trip. Fueled by an elixir called Gator’s Blood, brewed by the conjure woman Mama Jo, Easy experiences a physical, spiritual, and emotional resurrection, but peace and love soon give way to murder and mayhem. Written with Mosley’s signature grit and panache, this engrossing and atmospheric mystery is not only a trip back in time, it is also a tough-minded exploration of good and evil, and of the power of guilt and redemption. Once again, Easy asserts his reign over the City of (Fallen) Angels.

reviews-star-19b“In 2007’s Blonde Faith, set in 1967, Easy Rawlins drove drunkenly off a cliff in what his creator indicated was likely his last appearance. Now, after two months of sliding in and out of consciousness, Easy begins the long journey back to the living, in Mosley’s superb 12th mystery featuring his iconic sleuth…. If there were an Edgar for best comeback player, Easy Rawlins would be a shoo-in.”

Publishers Weekly (starred)

“Mosley fans were pining for the resurrection of Rawlins.  Their dreams have come true…. Mosley returns here to doing what he does best: setting the pain and pleasure of individual lives, lived mostly in L.A.’s black community, within an instantly recognizable historical moment and allowing the two to feed off one another…. [A] major event for crime-fiction fans.”

—Bill Ott, Booklist

Camera in the Sun Interview

Camera Q&A: Walter Mosley on adapting his novels for the screen, by Christian Niedan

Walter Mosley is a New York City-based author, whose 37+ book literary career goes back to 1990′s Devil in a Blue Dress. That novel kicked off a series revolving around detective Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins — a Black resident of the Watts section of Los Angeles, whose continuing story begins in 1948, and (with the May 2013 release of his 12th story,Little Green) has progressed to 1967. Mosley also created the character of ex-convict Socrates Fortlow, the modern-day protagonist of Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned, and two other novels. Both Rawlins and Fortlow were adapted for the screen in the 1990s. Denzel Washington portrayed Rawlins in 1995′s Devil in a Blue Dress, directed by Carl Franklin. Laurence Fishburne portrayed Fortlow in 1998′s Always Outnumbered, directed by Michael Apted for HBO. During production Mosley met producer Diane Houslin, and in 2012 they partnered to launch a new production company: Best of Brooklyn Filmhouse. Other Mosley creations include Fearless Jones, portrayed by Bill Nunn in the final episode of Showtime’s anthology series, Fallen Angels. He has also authored several science-fiction stories — the latest being The Gift of Fire andOn the Head of a Pin, which were released together by Tor Hardcover in May, 2012. Camera In The Sun interviewed Mosley in the summer of 2012, as he was editing Little Green, and discussed how his books have been adapted for the screen — including past and future versions of Easy Rawlins.

Read the rest of the interview here »

“Little Green” by Walter Mosley, National Author Tour

The dates have been announced for the Little Green National Author tour, May-June 2013 in the following cities; Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Scottsdale, St. Louis, Austin, Houston, Philadelphia, Raleigh, Brooklyn, New York, Washington DC.

Browse the Events Calendar (to the right) or click “Appearances” to see a list of readings in your area.