One of the coolest things about Elmore Leonard’s crime fiction is that he didn’t get to it until he was close to 50 years old and had been a professional writer for more than 20. His books pared away anything unnecessary with the ruthless good cheer of a steely veteran with little patience for wasting time.
Elmore Leonard had been writing for 22 years when his agent, the legendary H.N. Swanson, told him to read George V. Higgins's seminal crime novel about the Boston underworld, The Friends of Eddie Coyle. This was in 1972; Leonard was 46. He'd worked in advertising and written westerns—stories and novels—and he'd…
Hard to imagine having a cooler job than the one Gregg Sutter had for more than 30 years, when he served as the late Elmore Leonard's researcher. Sutter is the editor of the Library of America's Elmore Leonard anthology, which will be released in three volumes, the first of which was published a few weeks ago…
Cause we can't get enough Dutch Leonard round these parts here's a treat: a long 1998 interview at the 92nd Street Y.
Of course I've had Dutch Leonard on the brain since hearing the news that he died yesterday morning. So I called my pal John Schulian and consulted loyal Stacks reader Four Finger Wu, and we assembled a collection of the first lines of Leonard's novels.
Elmore Leonard, 87, had a stroke earlier this week. "He's doing better every day, and the family is guardedly optimistic," said Gregg Sutter, Leonard's longtime researcher.
I admire Elmore Leonard and Woody Allen because they just keep working. Elmore is 87, Woody is 77. And they don't stop.