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Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley
Born January 12, 1952 (age 56)
Los Angeles, California

Walter Ellis Mosley (born January 12, 1952) is a prominent American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles; they are perhaps his most popular works.




Personal life

Mosley was born in Los Angeles, California, the son of Ella (née Slatkin), a personnel clerk, and Leroy Mosley, a school librarian.[1][2] His father was African-American and his mother Jewish.[3][4] He lives in New York City.


Mosley has written more than 33 books in a variety of categories, including non-mystery fiction, afrofuturist science fiction and non-fiction politics. His work has been translated into 21 languages. Mosley's fame increased in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, a fan of murder mysteries, named Mosley as one of his favorite authors.

Two of his books have been made into films or television specials. His first published book, Devil in a Blue Dress, was the basis of a 1995 movie starring Denzel Washington.

Mosley is on the Board of Trustees for Goddard College. He has served on the board of directors of the National Book Awards.

Legacy and honors


Easy Rawlins mysteries

  • Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)
  • A Red Death (1991)
  • White Butterfly (1992)
  • Black Betty (1994)
  • A Little Yellow Dog (1996)
  • Gone Fishin' (1997)
  • Bad Boy Brawly Brown (2002)
  • Six Easy Pieces (2003)
  • Little Scarlet (2004)
  • Cinnamon Kiss (2005)
  • Blonde Faith (2007)

Fearless Jones mysteries

  • Fearless Jones (2001)
  • Fear Itself (2003)
  • Fear of the Dark (2006)

Leonid McGill mysteries

  • The Long Fall (2009)

Science Fiction

Socrates Fortlow books

For Young Adults

  • 47 (2005)

Other fiction

  • RL's Dream (1995)
  • The Man in My Basement (2004)
  • Walking the Line (2005), a novella in the Transgressions series
  • Fortunate Son (2006)
  • The Tempest Tales (2008)


  • Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel (2006)
  • Diablerie (2007)


  • Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History (2000)
  • What Next: An African American Initiative Toward World Peace (2003)
  • Life Out of Context: Which Includes a Proposal for the Non-violent Takeover of the House of Representatives (2006)
  • For Authors, Fragile Ideas Need Loving Every Day
  • This Year You Write Your Novel (2007)

Graphic Novel

Films and television

Criticism and Scholarship

  • BERGER, Roger A., ‘‘The Black Dick’: Race, Sexuality, and Discourse in the L.A. Novels of Walter Mosley’, in African American Review 31 (Summer 1997): 281–94.
  • BERRETTINI, Mark, ‘Private Knowledge, Public Space: Investigation and Navigation in Devil in a Blue Dress’, in Cinema Journal 39 (Fall 1999): 74–89.
  • FINE, David, ed., Los Angeles in Fiction: A Collection of Essays from James M. Cain to Walter Mosley (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1995).
  • FRIEBURGER, William, ‘James Ellroy, Walter Mosley, and the Politics of the Los Angeles Crime Novel’, in Clues: A Journal of Detection 17 (Fall–Winter 1996): 87–104.
  • GRUESSER, John C., "An Un-Easy Relationship: Walter Mosley's Signifyin(g) Detective and the Black Community," in Confluences: Postcolonialism, African American Literary Studies, and the Black Atlantic (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007), 58-72.
  • LENNARD, John, Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007 [Genre Fiction Sightlines]).
  • WESLEY, Marilyn C., ‘Power and Knowledge in Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress’, in African American Review 35 (Spring 2001): 103–16.
  • WILSON, Charles E., Jr., Walter Mosley: A Critical Companion (Westport, CT, & London: Greenwood Press, 2003 [Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers])


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Walter Mosley (born 1952-01-12) is a prominent American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction.


  • Lawyer even sounds like liar.
    • Walking the Line (2005)
  • The police and I have a deal. I don't talk to them and they don't listen to me.
    • Walking the Line (2005)
  • A man once told me that you step out of your door in the morning, and you are already in trouble. The only question is are you on top of that trouble or not?

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