John Straley

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John Straley
Born 1953
Redwood City, California, United States
Occupation mystery writer
Nationality American
Genre Detective fiction, historical fiction
Website
www.johnstraley.com

John Straley is a poet and author of detective fiction. He currently resides in Sitka, Alaska.

Biography[edit]

John Straley was born in Redwood City, California. He grew up in the Seattle area and attended high school in New York City.[1] Straley trained, with encouragement from his parents, to be a horseshoer.[2] He attended Grinnell College before transferring to the University of Washington for a degree in writing. After college and a stint in Eastern Washington, he followed his wife to Sitka, Alaska in 1977.[1] After moving through a number of jobs he became a private investigator and, in 1985, a staff investigator for the Alaska Public Defender.[3] As an investigator, he continued to write. After being turned down by publishers numerous times, in 1991 he received a tip from friend and anthropologist Richard Nelson that New York City-based Soho Press was interested in detective fiction novels. Upon submitting his manuscript for The Woman Who Married a Bear, Soho Press expressed interest in his work. After a successful run of mysteries that has garnered critical acclaim, he is now looking outside of his trademark Cecil Younger series for future books.

During his presidency, Bill Clinton visited a bookstore and bought The Woman Who Married a Bear.

In 2006, he was named writer laureate for the State of Alaska; he served in that position until 2008.[4]

In 2008, Alaska Northwest Books published Straley's The Big Both Ways, a historical fiction work based in the Pacific Northwest. Since then his work has been primarily in creating poetry.[3]

In 2014, SOHO Press published Straley's latest book, Cold Storage, Alaska.

Bibliography[edit]

Cecil Younger series[edit]

  • The Woman Who Married a Bear (1992)—winner of the 1993 Shamus Award
  • The Curious Eat Themselves (1993)
  • The Music of What Happens (1996)—winner of the Spotted Owl Award
  • Death and the Language of Happiness (1997)
  • The Angels Will not Care (1998)
  • Cold Water Burning (2001)

Later books[edit]

  • The Big Both Ways (2008)
  • The Rising and the Rain (2008)
  • Cold Storage, Alaska (2014)

Other writing[edit]

  • Short stories:
    • "Life Before the War"—published in Men from Boys
    • "Finding Lou"—published in The Mysterious North
  • Essays:
    • Published in The Nation, Alaska magazine
    • "Love, Crime and Joyriding on a Dead-End Road"—published in The Book of the Tongass (1999)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Doran, Tom (13 December 2002). "Interview with mystery writer John Straley". Whalesong 24 (7). Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
  2. ^ "Mystery! Alaska Style". Talk of Alaska. 2007-09-18.
  3. ^ a b Haugland, Shannon (31 January 2014). "SE Characters Abound in New Straley Novel". Sitka Sentinel (Sitka, Alaska). Retrieved 2 February 2014. (subscription required)
  4. ^ Alaska State Writer Laureate list

External links[edit]