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The Bounty Hunters
The Law at Randado
Escape from Five Shadows
Last Stand at Saber River
Hombre
The Big Bounce
The Moonshine War
Valdez is Coming
Forty Lashes Less One
Mr. Majestyk
Fifty-Two Pickup
Swag
Unknown Man No. 89
The Hunted
The Switch
Gunsights
City Primeval
Gold Coast
Split Images
Cat Chaser
Stick
Labrava
Glitz
Bandits
Touch
Freaky Deaky
Killshot
Get Shorty
Maximum Bob
Rum Punch
Pronto
Riding the Rap
Out of Sight
Cuba Libre
Be Cool
Pagan Babies
Tishomingo Blues
Mr. Paradise
A Coyote’s in the House
The Hot Kid
Comfort to the Enemy
Up in Honey’s Room
Road Dogs
Djibouti
Raylan

Stories

The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard
The Tonto Woman and Other Western Stories
When the Women Come Out to Dance
Trail of the Apache
Apache Medicine
You Never See Apaches…
Red Hell Hits Canyon Diablo
The Colonel’s Lady
Law of the Hunted One
Cavalry Boots
Under the Friar’s Ledge
The Rustlers
Three Ten to Yuma
The Big Hunt
Long Night
The Boy Who Smiled
The Hard Way
The Last Shot
Blood Money
Trouble at Rindo’s Station
Saint with a Six-Gun
The Captives
No Man’s Guns
The Rancher’s Lady
Jugged
Moment of Vengeance
Man with the Iron Arm
The Longest Day of his Life
The Nagual
The Kid
The Treasure of Mungo’s Landing
The Bull Ring at Blisston
Only Good Ones
The Tonto Woman
Hurrah for Captain Early
Karen Makes Out
The Odyssey
Sparks
Hanging Out at the Buena Vista
Fire in the Hole
Chickasaw Charlie Hoke
When the Women Come Out to Dance
Tenkiller
Showdown at Checotah
Louly and Pretty Boy
Chick Killer (2011)
Ice Man

Film and TV

Moment of Vengeance
3:10 to Yuma
The Tall T
Hombre
The Big Bounce (I)
The Moonshine War
Valdez is Coming
Joe Kidd
Mr. Majestyk
High Noon, Part II
Stick
52 Pickup
Desperado
The Rosary Murders
Glitz (TV)
Cat Chaser
Border Shootout
Split Images
Get Shorty
Last Stand at Saber River
Pronto
Touch
Elmore Leonard’s Gold Coast (TV)
Jackie Brown
Maximum Bob
Out of Sight
Karen Sisco
The Big Bounce (II)
Be Cool (2005)
The Ambassador
3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Killshot (2009)
Freaky Deaky
The Tonto Woman
Sparks
Justified
Life of Crime

Elmore’s Intro to “Touch”

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Touch takes place in 1977. That’s the year the book was written and, within a couple of months, rejected by more than a dozen hardcover publishers. The rejections were cordial enough; there was no quarrel with the prose. One editor called it, “Probably the best writing you have done to date.” Another said, It is simply that the subject, no matter how well written it is, seems altogether mystifying.”

In January 1978, the manuscript was accepted by my publisher at that time as a paperback original, though not with a great deal of enthusiasm. The book’s working title then was Juvenal. Within a few months it became The Juvenal Touch and the manuscript was set in galleys. After that, nothing happened. I imagined the publisher’s lukewarm response chilling to second thoughts. What do we call this book? If the author isn’t well known, or if the publisher isn’t able to label the book, place it in a recognized genre, he’s got a marketing problem. Or so they tell me.

It seemed easier in the past to try to sell me as some distinguished though deceased writer’s second coming rather than simply as me. But Touch refused even to be categorized. What is it?

I would inquire about its status from time to time and be told they were having trouble coming up with a suitable cover illustration. Finally, in March 1981, the publisher admitted, “Juvenal remains a very tough title for us to contemplate publishing, so there is no news on that front.” A year and a half later, September 1982, 1 asked that the rights be returned to me-which I could request, according to the contract, if the book wasn’t brought out within two years-and the publisher complied, probably with a sigh of relief. They would even get their money back, the advance paid, if I sold it to another publisher.
And that’s what happened.

I had a good time writing Touch, imagining mystical things happening to an ordinary person in a contemporary setting. It’s way off-trail compared to what I usually write, but it shouldn’t be mystifying unless you look for symbols, hidden meanings. Touch is about accepting what is. Abiding with the facts Nothing more. Friends of mine who read a lot think it’s my best book.

If I had written Touch today I would include topical references to 1987 rather than 1977; but aside from that I would tell the same story. I did revise a couple of paragraphs and cut a few lines, but that’s all.


Elmore Leonard
April 20, 1987

****

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