nys writers logo

Wlater Mosely, photo by: David Shankbone
Walter Mosley


NYS Writers Institute, April 22, 2010
4:15 p.m. Seminar | Campus Center 375, Uptown Campus
8:00 p.m. Reading | Page Hall, 135 Western Ave., Downtown Campus


Walter Mosley, bestselling author known for detective fiction featuring African American private investigators, will speak about his work on Thursday, April 22, 2010 at 8:00 p.m. in Page Hall on the University at Albany’s downtown campus. Earlier that same day at 4:15 p.m. the author will present an informal seminar in Campus Center 375. The events are free and open to the public and sponsored by the New York State Writers Institute.


Walter Mosley,
bestselling author of 30 books, is one of America’s leading writers of hardboiled detective fiction in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Mosley is best-known for a series of eleven mystery novels set in 1940s Los Angeles featuring the African American private investigator Easy Rawlins. Mosley launched the series in 1990 with “Devil in a Blue Dress” (1990). The book received a significant sales boost in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton announced that Mosley was one of his favorite authors. In 1995, “Devil in a Blue Dress” was adapted as a motion picture starring Denzel Washington as Easy Rawlins.

Known to EvilMosley’s latest novel, “Known To Evil” (2010), is the second in a new series featuring Leonid McGill, a Black criminal-turned-detective who plys his trade in New York City. The first book in the series, “The Long Fall,” appeared in 2009. A former boxer and fixer for the Mafia— and a Red Diaper baby named by his union organizer father for Leonid Brezhnev— McGill is troubled not only by the secrets of his past, but also by the family life of his present, including a wife who hates him and a loveable son named Twill who happens to be a budding sociopath. McGill’s complicated existence gets even more so after an Albany PI hires him to track down four men known only by their boyhood street names.

Walter MosleyThe “Washington Post” reviewer said of “The Long Fall,” “McGill is a welcome conundrum…. We follow eagerly, seduced by Mosley’s laconic style and by a newly arrived hero who seems to have been around forever.”

In March 2010, Mosley announced that he is coscripting a pilot for a new HBO series based on “The Long Fall” with Academy Award-winning director Jonathan Demme.

“Known to Evil” (2010), the second book in the series, follows Leonid as he becomes entangled in the dark side of New York City politics after he agrees to do a favor for a shady character who happens to be the “power behind the throne” at City Hall. The “Boston Globe” reviewer said, “Walter Mosley gives us a New York City as vivid as Easy Rawlins’s [home neighborhood of ] Watts…. Complex plotting never loses the reader as multiple stories intertwine…. The writing is minimalist prose with poetry mixed in, making the pages pure pleasure to turn.”

Donald Faulkner and Walter Mosley, Photo by Marck SchmidtOther books by Mosley include the “Fearless Jones” mysteries (three books, 2001-2006), the adventures of a Black P.I. during the 1950s, and the “Socrates Fortlow” series (three books, 1997-2008), about the misadventures of an ex-con. He is also the author of several books of nonfiction, erotica, science fiction, and young adult fiction. His more recent books include the writer’s guide, “This Year You Write Your Novel” (2007), and the graphic novel, “Maximum Fantastic Four” (2005), based on the original 1961 “Fantastic Four #1” comic book by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby.

Additional Links:
Writers Online Magazine, Fall 1996, Walter Mosely Talks on Writing

Walter Mosley: Reflections on Writing

For additional information, contact the Writers Institute at 518-442-5620 or online at https://www.albany.edu/writers-inst.