Four Novels of the 1980s Now Available
Copies have just arrived in the LOA warehouse! Order your copy today (15% off, free shipping) from the LOA Web Store for immediate delivery, and from Amazon. Available in bookstores September 1.
The 1980s was the decade when Elmore Leonard came into his own as the most popular and critically acclaimed crime writer in America. The four novels collected here show him at the top of his game. Each in its own way displays his unique ear for the jazzy cadences of American speech, his ability to create extraordinary characters on both sides of the law, and his genius for exhilaratingly unpredictable stories that slide on a dime from hard-edged menace to unexpected comedy.
For three months in 1978, Leonard shadowed detectives from Detroit’s homicide squad for a profile commissioned by The Detroit News. From that experience came the inspiration for City Primeval, perhaps his greatest Detroit novel, a modern-day showdown between a lawman and an outlaw filled with echoes of the Westerns that were Leonard’s early specialty. (This volume presents, as a special feature, “Impressions of Murder,” the brilliant piece Leonard wrote for The Detroit News Sunday Magazine.) LaBrava moves the action to a steamy, seamy Miami, as a Secret Service agent turned photographer finds himself embroiled in a scheme involving a long-forgotten, but still alluring, film noir actress. Old-time movie lore, local Florida history, and the intricacies of a complex extortion plot are interwoven in one of Leonard’s richest and most entertaining works.
Glitz, the novel that marked Leonard’s breakthrough as a best-selling author, plunges into the casually corrupt world of Atlantic City casinos—“an old seaside resort being done over in Las Vegas plastic”—populated by small-time hoods and hustlers. A police detective looking into the death of a cocktail waitress finds himself following the twisted trail of the unforgettable Teddy Magyk, perhaps Leonard’s most indelibly chilling bad guy. Freaky Deaky, one of the author’s own favorites, returns to Detroit for a carnivalesque ’60s flashback in which festering grudges left over from counterculture days are churned up in a brew of blackmail, bombs, and sex.
This volume, the second in The Library of America’s Elmore Leonard edition, contains a newly researched chronology of Leonard’s life, drawing on materials in his personal archive, and detailed annotations, which include early drafts of passages from City Primeval and LaBrava, and an account by editor Gregg Sutter of the research that went into the writing of these novels.
Detroit native Gregg Sutter first met Elmore Leonard in 1979 and began working for him in 1981. He is currently at work on a biography of Leonard, from his unique perspective as his full-time researcher for more than thirty years.
Also check out: Elmore Leonard: Four Novels of the 1970s: Fifty-Two Pickup / Swag / Unknown Man: (Library of America #255).
Colony | Official Trailer - New Series on USA (Coming This Fall)
C O L O N Y - Coming This Fall from Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal and the USA Network
For those of you wondering what I (Gregg Sutter) have been up to lately, I’ve been doing research on Colony, a sci-fi/family espionage show created by Carlton Cuse and Ryan Condal. It’s been a fantastic ride! Spread the word, please.
Read the story in Wired..
Graham Yost on How to Adapt a Book for TV
Few TV shows are as good — or as unjustly unsung — as FX’s recently concluded backwoods Western/rural noir Justified. The story of Raylan Givens (the sterling Timothy Olyphant), a wry gunslinger and US marshal who’s forced to return to his boyhood home in Kentucky and ultimately to pursue an old friend, Justified examines themes of family, history, and the pressure we feel to meet others’ expectations. Throughout its six-season run, it was a rich, often beautiful series — that nonetheless possessed some of the funniest dialogue on television.
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‘Justified’ EP Chris Provenzano Inks AMC Overall Deal, To Adapt Gunsights
Justified executive producer Chris Provenzano has signed an overall deal with AMC. Under the pact, he already is working on a drama series project, an adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s 1979 novel Gunsights. This makes it a nice continuation for Provenzano, who spent the last five years on FX drama Justified, based on Leonard’s novella Fire In The Hole.
Considered Leonard’s final Western novel, Gunsights, set in 1893, centers on two tough men and friends, scout Dana Moon and Army man Brendan Early, who used to work together, including a mission chasing an Apache chief into Mexico. Now, the two former partners are on the opposite sides of a conflict between a mining company and a scattering of settlers on an Arizona mountainside: Apaches, Mexicans, and former 10th Cavalry regulars. Brendan is employed by the mining company attempting to drive the settlers out of their homes, while Dana is an Indian agent, defending them.
When ‘Justified’ (almost) met ‘Sons Of Anarchy
“At the very end, we had Raylan heading to the desert in California for a showdown with whoever survived on ‘Sons of Anarchy,’” Graham Yost told HLN at the Austin Television Festival.
It was just one of the scenarios the creator of ‘Justified’ suggested before settling on the ending viewers will find on “Justified: The Complete Final Season” now available on Blu-ray and DVD.
According to Yost, the ‘Sons Of Anarchy’ idea was inspired by a book Elmore Leonard was working on when he died in 2013, that would have sent Deputy U.S. Marshal Raylan Givens to California. ‘Justified’ was based on stories written by Leonard and when deciding how to wrap up the show, Yost and his writers asked themselves, “What Would Elmore Do?”
“We knew Raylan wasn’t going to die. That’s just not Elmore Leonard,” Yost said. “He didn’t kill off the good guys. What it boiled down to for us was: Will Raylan kill Boyd?”
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Graham Yost Interview in Austin Chronicle
The Austin Chronicle
Nine years after its publication, Justified premiered on the F/X network in 2010 with Timothy Olyphant as a Federal Marshall and Walton Goggins as his nemesis. In April, after six seasons, Justified ended the same way it began: facing off Givens/Olyphant and Crowder/Goggins. Graham Yost, who developed the series for TV, appears eager to return to the ATX Television Festival and discuss it.
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Sam Elliott Wins Best Guest Performer in a Drama Series at Critics Choice Awards for Justified
By Jorge Solis
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Author Anna Clark explores Michigan’s rich literary history
Michigan has a long and well-known history of car manufacturing, mining, logging, and agriculture.
But there’s something else this state produces: writers.
Anna Clark’s new book explores the lives of ten of Michigan’s most notable writers. Michigan Literary Luminaries: from Elmore Leonard to Robert Hayden is a collection of essays that are not just biographies.
Let Your Characters Do the Talking
Elmore “Dutch” Leonard died cool. There’s a certain kind of magic in a man who came of age during the Great Depression and refused to become dated, repetitive, or, worst of all, soft. Not only was he one of the best crime writers of all time, he was—no matter the year—the hippest.
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Photo © Joe Worthem