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Walter Mosley Biography

(1952– ), Devil in a Blue Dress, A Red Death, White Butterfly, Black Betty

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Edgar Mittelholzer Biography to Mr Norris Changes Trains

African-American novelist, born in Los Angeles, where most of his works are set, educated at Johnson State College and City College of the City University of New York. His first novel, featuring the black detective Ezekiel ‘Easy’ Rawlins and his sidekick Mouse, was Devil in a Blue Dress (1990) in which the protagonist searches for a missing woman in post-1948 Los Angeles and becomes involved in an organized crime ring. Others in the series include A Red Death (1991), White Butterfly (1992), and Black Betty (1994), all of which are set in the 1950s and deal, in varying degrees, with the position of black people in post-war American society. Mosley has been compared to R. Chandler, and there are obvious similarities, both in the choice of setting and in the laconic and witty style employed by both writers to which Mosley adds the rhythms and imagery of African-American speech. In RL's Dream (1995), Mosley moves away from crime in a novel which focuses on an elderly blues guitarist.

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