Novelist and social commentator Walter Mosley is one of the most powerful and prolific writers working in any genre today. He is the author of more than 50 books, ranging from the crime novel to literary fiction, nonfiction, political essay, young adult, and science fiction. The New York Review of Books called him “a literary master as well as a master of mystery,” and The Boston Globe declared him “one of the nation’s finest writers.”
Mosley’s fiction tracks the African American experience from the migration from the Deep South to post-Obama election-era New York City. His characters are the sorts of “fully formed, complex black men who have been absent from much of contemporary literature,” he says.
Several of Mosley’s books have been adapted for film and television, with new projects in development at FX, Cinemax, and HBO. To adapt his works for television and feature films, Mosley teamed up with producer Diane Houslin to create his own production house, Best of Brooklyn Filmhouse. With over a dozen entries, his Easy Rawlins detective series began with Devil in a Blue Dress, which was made into a feature film starring Denzel Washington. His latest Rawlins mystery, Charcoal Joe, was released in June 2016.
His upcoming novel, Down the River Unto the Sea, centers on a former New York City police detective turned Brooklyn PI, and is slated for a February 2018 release.
Of his latest Leonid McGill book, And Sometimes I Wonder About You, The Boston Globe said, “A poignantly real character, [McGill is] not only the newest of the great fictional detectives, but also an incisive and insightful commentator on the American scene.”
Mosley’s nonfiction, such as Folding the Red into the Black; Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation and Life Out of Context, examines contributions to economic inequality, politics, and justice in America. An editorial board member of The Nation, he conceived “Ten Things,” a monthly feature connecting readers to opportunities for advocacy and activism.
Since 2010 Mosley has written four plays, including The Fall of Heaven, White Lilies, and Lift, and is developing a fifth based on his novel, Devil in a Blue Dress.
The first African-American to serve on the board of directors of the National Book Awards, Mosley has received an O’Henry Award, The Sundance Risktaker Award, a Grammy, and two NAACP Image Awards for Outstanding Literary Work. In 2016, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Annual Edgar Awards and was named the first African-American “Grand Master” by the Mystery Writers of America.