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Animators Survival Kit

The 'Dickens of Detroit' Elmore Leonard has died

20th August 2013

Elmore Leonard best known for his crime and western novels has died after an earlier stroke in July. The beloved author of crime and western classics passed away on Tuesday morning "surrounded by his loving family" as announced by a statement on his official website.

Leonard's writing career starting in 1953 with the publication on '3.10 to Yuma' which was made into a classic western only 4 years later starring Glenn Ford and remade more recently with Christian Bale and Russell Crowe.

Over the years as the western genre's popularily waned Leonard moved into the crime and thriller genre in which he gained a reputation for sharply drawn characters and authentic and cracking dialogue. He continued to be popular with film and television adaptions, not always successfully, but notable highlights are 'Hombre', 'Get Shorty', 'Out of Sight' and the current series 'Justfied' based on Leonard's character of Raylan Givens on which Leonard was a producer.

Trbutes have been made particulary by fellow crime writers including Mark Billingham describing him "as one of the greats. A crime writer whose work made it abundantly clear that a mystery novel or a western could have literary merit. He was flat out one of the best writers of dialogue that has ever lived and one of the very best when it came to writing about writing.

"His 10 Rules Of Writing are indispensable to any serious writer. They should be pinned above the desk of anyone who calls themselves a writer. My favourite of the rules is 'try to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip'. Nobody ever skipped a word reading an Elmore Leonard novel."

His many accolades included the F Scott Fitzgerald award in 2008 and the PEN USA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009. He received a further lifetime achievement prize last year, presented at America's National Book Awards.

 

 

 

 

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