October 31, 1953 |
New York City
|Education||Master of Arts|
|Alma mater||University of Nebraska–Lincoln|
|Genre||Crime fiction, mystery fiction, historical fiction|
|Notable works||Neal Carey Mysteries|
|Spouse||Jean Winslow (m. 1985–present)|
Don Winslow is an American author most recognized for his crime and mystery novels. Many of his books are set in California. He has published a series of five novels that have a private investigator named Neal Carey as their main character. Savages has attracted critical acclaim, with the New York Times describing it as a "startling bid for attention".
Winslow was born in New York City on Halloween night, 1953, but grew up in Perryville, a beach town near the village of Matunuck, Rhode Island. He credits his parents for preparing him to become a writer: his mother was a librarian, and his father was a non-commissioned officer in the United States Navy who told stories and invited Navy friends around who told more. They inspired Winslow to become a storyteller himself. He majored in African History at the University of Nebraska.
Winslow explored many forms of career and study before he became a career writer. In the late 1970s, he moved back to New York City, first working as manager of a chain of movie theaters, then as a private investigator in movie theaters and the back alleys of Times Square. He went back to school to earn a master's degree in Military History, led safaris in Kenya and hiking trips in China's Sichuan province. His first published novel, A Cool Breeze on the Underground (1991) was written during this time. It was the first of a series of books about investigator Neal Carey, and was nominated for an Edgar award. Winslow's career as an investigator would repeatedly bring him to California, to look into arson cases; his storytelling skills helped in explaining cases to juries. In the mid-1990s, he moved to California with his wife Jean and their infant son, Thomas, and kept writing when he could. His thriller The Death and Life of Bobby Z (1997), was a success, and allowed him to become a full-time writer. They live in Julian, California.
Winslow says that he writes every day from 5:30 to 10:00 in the morning and then hikes six or seven miles before returning to work. He generally works on two books at a time, moving to the other when work on the first stalls. He says the longest he has gone without writing after a book is completed is five days; he calls it an addiction.
The time it takes him to write a book varies. The Death and Life of Bobby Z was written on the train between Dana Point, California and Los Angeles, one chapter per trip. The Power of the Dog took six years to research and write, including traveling to Mexico to interview people with similar experiences as its characters.
- 1991: A Cool Breeze on the Underground (Neal Carey Mysteries)
- 1992: The Trail to Buddha's Mirror (Neal Carey Mysteries)
- 1993: Way Down on the High Lonely (Neal Carey Mysteries)
- 1994: A Long Walk Up the Water Slide (Neal Carey Mysteries)
- 1996: While Drowning in the Desert (Neal Carey Mysteries)
- 1996: Isle of Joy (A Winter Spy under the pseudonym MacDonald Lloyd)
- 1997: The Death and Life of Bobby Z
- 1999: California Fire and Life
- 2005: The Power of the Dog
- 2006: The Winter of Frankie Machine
- 2008: The Dawn Patrol
- 2009: The Gentlemen's Hour
- 2010: Savages
- 2011: Satori
- 2012: The Kings of Cool 
- 2014: Missing New York (Frank Decker)
- 2015: The Cartel
- 2016: Germany (Frank Decker)
Scripts and screenplays
- Alexander Hamilton: In Worlds Unknown (script and film; New York Historical Society)
Awards by book:
A Cool Breeze on the Underground
- 1992 Finalist for Edgar Best First
- 1992 Finalist for Shamus Best First
- 1994 Maltese Falcon Award, Japan
Way Down on the High Lonely
- 1994 Finalist Dilys Award
The Death and Life of Bobby Z
California Fire and Life
The Power of the Dog
- 2005 Finalist Hammett Prize
- 2006 Finalist Barry for Best Novel
- 2006 Finalist Dilys Award
- 2006 Finalist Macavity Award for Best Novel
- 2009 Japan Adventure Fiction Association Prize
- 2010 Maltese Falcon Award, Japan
The Winter of Frankie Machine
The Dawn Patrol
The Gentlemen’s Hour
- 2010 Finalist Gold Dagger (Duncan Lawrie Dagger)
The Kings of Cool
- 2013 Finalist Gold Dagger (Duncan Lawrie Dagger)
- 2015 RBA International Prize for Crime Writing (Spain), world's richest crime fiction award €125,000
- Janet Maslin (July 7, 2010). "Books of The Times – New-Wave Drug Dealers in Don Winslow's Savages". New York Times. Retrieved 8 July 2010.
- "Hi. My name is Don Winslow, and I'm a writing addict", by John Wilkens, San Diego Union-Tribune, June 8, 2008. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- "Bio", Don Winslow's Official Website. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- "Surfing shamus", by Scott Timberg, June 09, 2008, Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- "Don Winslow on Surf Noir, Appeal Of Crime Fiction", by Jeffrey A. Trachtenbert, May 23, 2008, Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- "Crime writer considers US war on drugs", Kerry O'Brien, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, broadcast 31/05/2007. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- "Inside the war on drugs", by Regis Behe, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, May 8, 2005. Retrieved July 07, 2010.
- Savages at Simon & Schuster.
- The Kings of Cool at Simon & Schuster.
- "Looking for a Hero" University of Nebraska press. Retrieved July 7, 2010.
- "'Savages' Author Don Winslow Awarded Raymond Chandler Award", by Mike Fleming Jr.
- Míriam Pina García (4 September 2015). "Don Winslow’s ‘The Cartel’ wins the RBA International Prize for Crime Writing". barcelona.cat. Retrieved 5 December 2015.