Leonard, Elmore

Leonard, Elmore (John Elmore Leonard), 1925–2013, American novelist, b. New Orleans, grad. Univ. of Detroit (1950). Dutch Leonard began publishing Western tales in the early 1950s, the best known of which is the short novel Hombre (1961 film, 1967). His first crime novel, The Big Bounce, was published in 1969 (films, 1969 and 2004) thereafter, he contributed numerous novels and short stories to the genre, writing about a book a year. Leonard developed a gritty realism in style and setting (often Detroit), a hard-boiled and tough-talking cast of outsider characters, a deadpan humor, and a crisp, clean prose that made him one of America's top crime writers. Many of his novels became films, sometimes with his own screenplays. Among the most popular of his many books are Fifty-two Pickup (1974 film, 1984 and 1986), Stick (1983 film, 1985), LaBrava (1983), Glitz (1985), Freaky Deaky (1988 film, 2012), Get Shorty (1990 film, 1995), Maximum Bob (1990 television series, 1998), Rum Punch (1992), Out of Sight (1996 film, 1998), Cuba Libre (1998), Be Cool (1999 film, 2005), Tishomingo Blues (2002), Mr. Paradise (2004), The Hot Kid (2005), Road Dogs (2009), Djibouti (2010), and Raylan (2012), his 45th and last novel.

See biographies by D. Geherin (1989), J. E. Devlin (1999), and P. C. Challen (2000) C. J. Rzepka, Being Cool: The Work of Elmore Leonard (2013) M. Dibb and R. Horsley, Elmore Leonard's Criminal Records (documentary, 1991).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.