Mosley at the 2007 Brooklyn Book Festival
|Born||Walter Ellis Mosley
January 12, 1952
Los Angeles, California
|Spouse(s)||Joy Kellman (m. 1987, sep. ~1997, div. 2001)|
Walter Ellis Mosley (born January 12, 1952) is an American novelist, most widely recognized for his crime fiction. He has written a series of best-selling historical mysteries featuring the hard-boiled detective Easy Rawlins, a black private investigator and World War II veteran living in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles; they are perhaps his most popular works.
Personal life 
Mosley was born in California. His mother, Ella (née Slatkin), was Jewish and worked as a personnel clerk; her ancestors had immigrated from Russia. His father, Leroy Mosley (1924-2005), was an African American from Louisiana who was a supervising custodian at a Los Angeles public school. He had worked as a clerk in the segregated US army during the Second World War. His parents tried to marry in 1951 but, though the union was legal in California where they were living, no one would give them a marriage license.
He was an only child, and ascribes his writing imagination to "an emptiness in my childhood that I filled up with fantasies". For $9.50 a week, Walter Mosley attended the Victory Baptist day school, a private African-American elementary school that held pioneering classes in black history. When he was 12, his parents moved from South Central to more comfortably affluent, working-class west LA. Mosley describes his father as a deep thinker and storyteller, a "black Socrates" and though his mother wasn't effusive, inspired in him the tools to write, filling his world with European classics from Dickens and Zola to Camus. He also loves Langston Hughes and Gabriel García Márquez. He was largely raised in a non-political family culture, although there were high racial conflicts flaring though L.A. at the time and he would later become more highly politicised and outspoken about racial inequalities in the US, which are a context of much of his fiction.
He went through a "long-haired hippie" phase, drifting around Santa Cruz and Europe. Mosley attended and then dropped out of Goddard College, a liberal arts college in Plainfield, Vermont and then earned a political science degree at Johnson State College. Abandoning a doctorate in political theory, he started work programming computers. He moved to New York in 1981 and met the dancer and choreographer Joy Kellman, whom he married in 1987. They separated 10 years later and were divorced in 2001. While working for Mobil Oil Mosley took a writing course at City College in Harlem. One of his tutors there, Edna O'Brien, became a mentor to him and encouraged him, saying: "You're Black, Jewish, with a poor upbringing; there are riches therein."
Mosley started writing at 34 and has written every day since, penning more than forty books in a variety of categories, including Mystery fiction, other non-mystery fiction, afrofuturist science fiction and non-fiction politics, often publishing two books a year. His work has been translated into 21 languages. His direct inspirations include the detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett, Graham Greene and Raymond Chandler. Mosley's fame increased in 1992 when then-presidential candidate Bill Clinton, a fan of murder mysteries, named Mosley as one of his favorite authors. Mosley made publishing history in 1997 by foregoing an advance to give the manuscript of Gone Fishin' to a small, independent publisher, Black Classic Press in Baltimore, run by former Black Panther Paul Coates.
Two of his books have been made into films or television specials. His first published book, Devil in a Blue Dress, was the basis of a 1995 movie starring Denzel Washington. The world premiere of his first play, The Fall of Heaven  was staged at the Playhouse in the Park, Cincinnati, Ohio, in January, 2010.
Legacy and honors 
- Anisfield Wolf Award, for works that increase the appreciation and understanding of race in America.
- Finalist for the NAACP Award in Fiction
- 1996 - Black Caucus of the American Library Association's Literary Award for RL's Dream
- 1996 - O. Henry Award for a Socrates Fortlow story.
- 2001 - Grammy Award for Best Album Notes for Richard Pryor's …And It's Deep Too!
- 2005 - "Risktaker Award" from the Sundance Institute for both his creative and activist efforts.
- 2006 - First recipient of the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award for his young adult novel 47.
- Mosley was awarded an honorary doctorate from the City College of New York.
Easy Rawlins mysteries 
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1990)
- A Red Death (1991)
- White Butterfly (1992)
- Black Betty (1994)
- A Little Yellow Dog (1996)
- Gone Fishin' (1997)
- Bad Boy Brawly Brown (2002)
- Six Easy Pieces (2003)
- Little Scarlet (2004)
- Cinnamon Kiss (2005)
- Blonde Faith (2007)
- Little Green (May 14,2013)
Fearless Jones mysteries 
- Fearless Jones (2001)
- Fear Itself (2003)
- Fear of the Dark (2006)
Leonid McGill mysteries 
- The Long Fall (2009)
- Known to Evil (2010)
- When the Thrill Is Gone (2011)
- All I Did Was Shoot My Man (2012)
Science fiction 
Socrates Fortlow books 
- Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned (1997)
- Walkin' the Dog (1999)
- The Right Mistake (2008)
For young adults 
- 47 (2005)
Other novels 
- RL's Dream (1995)
- The Man in My Basement (2004)
- Walking the Line (2005), a novella in the Transgressions series
- Fortunate Son (2006)
- The Tempest Tales (2008)
- The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey (2010)
- Parishioner (2012)
- Killing Johnny Fry: A Sexistential Novel (2006)
- Diablerie (2007)
- 'The Fall of Heaven, Samuel French, 2011
Non-fiction books 
- Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking off the Dead Hand of History (2000)
- What Next: An African American Initiative Toward World Peace (2003)
- Life Out of Context: Which Includes a Proposal for the Non-violent Takeover of the House of Representatives (2006)
- This Year You Write Your Novel (2007)
- Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation (2011) ISBN 978-1-56858-642-7
Graphic novel 
- Maximum Fantastic Four (2005,with Stan Lee and Jack Kirby)
Crosstown to Oblivion 
- The Gift of Fire / On the Head of a Pin, Tor Books, 2012
- Merge/Disciple, Tor Books, 2012
- Stepping Stone / The Love Machine, Tor Books, 2013
Films and television 
- Fallen Angels: Fearless (1995) (TV)
- Devil in a Blue Dress (1995)
- Always Outnumbered (1998) (TV)
- Little Brother (short story), episode of Masters of Science Fiction (2007) (TV)
Criticism and scholarship 
- Berger, Roger A., "‘The Black Dick’: Race, Sexuality, and Discourse in the L.A. Novels of Walter Mosley", in African American Review 31 (Summer 1997): 281–94.
- Berrettini, Mark, "Private Knowledge, Public Space: Investigation and Navigation in Devil in a Blue Dress", in Cinema Journal 39 (Fall 1999): 74–89.
- Fine, David, ed., Los Angeles in Fiction: A Collection of Essays from James M. Cain to Walter Mosley (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico, 1995).
- Frieburger, William, "James Ellroy, Walter Mosley, and the Politics of the Los Angeles Crime Novel", in Clues: A Journal of Detection 17 (Fall–Winter 1996): 87–104.
- Gruesser, John C., "An Un-Easy Relationship: Walter Mosley's Signifyin(g) Detective and the Black Community," in Confluences: Postcolonialism, African American Literary Studies, and the Black Atlantic (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2007), 58-72.
- Lennard, John, Walter Mosley, Devil in a Blue Dress (Tirril: Humanities-Ebooks, 2007 [Genre Fiction Sightlines]).
- Wesley, Marilyn C., "Power and Knowledge in Walter Mosley’s Devil in a Blue Dress", in African American Review 35 (Spring 2001): 103–16.
- Wilson, Charles E., Jr., Walter Mosley: A Critical Companion (Westport, CT, & London: Greenwood Press, 2003 [Critical Companions to Popular Contemporary Writers])
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Walter Mosley|
- Walter Mosley Biography accessed 2010-03-03
- Crime Time interview with Mosley accessed 2010-03-03
- PBS interview The Chain Gang - April 6, 2000 accessed 2010-03-03
- O'Hagan, Sean (18 August 2002). "Time for a new Black Power movement". The Observer. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- Jaggi, Maya (6 September 2003). "Socrates of the streets". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-03.
- Walter Mosley biography, Royce Carlton incorporated.
- Lee, Felicia R. (January 26, 2010). "A Crime Novelist Takes on St. Peter". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-02-27.
- Walter, Mosely (April 23, 2000). Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History. with Brian Lamb. Booknotes. C-SPAN. Washington, D.C.. http://www.booknotes.org/Watch/155716-1/Walter+Mosley.aspx. Retrieved 2012-02-28.
- Mosley's official website
- Riverhead Books (Walter Mosley's Publisher)
- Powell Books interview of Walter Mosley
- Walter Mosley on AALBC.com
- Johanna Neuman (September/October 2010). "The Curious Case of Walter Mosley". Moment.
- New Yorker profile. "Covering Mosley: The books of Walter Mosley: 19 January 2004
- A radio interview with Walter Mosley Aired on the Lewis Burke Frumkes Radio Show the 2nd of April 2011.
- Booknotes interview with Mosley on Workin' on the Chain Gang: Shaking Off the Dead Hand of History, April 23, 2000.