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Monday, February 27, 2012

  • Author Walter Mosley on Writing Mystery Novels, Political Revelation, Racism and Pushing Obama

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    Today in a Black History Month special, we spend the hour with the award-winning author Walter Mosley, who many people were introduced to when Bill Clinton praised his book while running for president. Mosley has published 37 books, including a series of bestselling mysteries featuring the private investigator Easy Rawlins. The first novel in this series, set in 1948 and called "Devil in a Blue Dress," was made into a film starring Denzel Washington. Mosley has been hailed for his use of the popular detective novel as a vehicle for confronting racism across multiple decades. "When I started writing Easy Rawlins ... I was trying to talk about my father’s generation, black men and women who moved from the deep South to different parts of the world," Mosley says. "Here’s these wonderful stories about these people who have moved here and who make a big difference here. Let’s include them in the literature." Mosley’s latest novel, "All I Did Was Shoot My Man," follows the modern-day private eye Leonid McGill as he navigates a world filled with corporate wealth, armed assassins and family drama. His writing has spanned many genres, from young adult to science fiction, but he is less known for his non-fiction works that address the pressing political issues of our time. Mosley’s most recent work of non-fiction, "Twelve Steps Toward Political Revelation," starts on a deeply personal note, then expands to a call of action for people to organize against wealth inequality. Regarding his continued support of President Barack Obama, Mosley notes, "We can’t blame a guy who, you know, got elected, and he’s sitting there alone in the White House... I agree, he has a lot of power, but he doesn’t have enough power without us." [includes rush transcript]