Elmore Leonard was born in New Orleans in 1925, and accumulated his soft Southern accent in childhood when his family moved about the South. Though considered "the best American writer of crime fiction alive", attempts to bracket him with the likes of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett fail, because heís too mischievous and eclectic to be bound by any one single genre.
Leonard is a moralist at heart. "His language can be salty and then some, he takes a wicked pleasure in exaggerated violence, he populates his world with petty crooks and whores and fixers and facilitators, and nobody escapes his decidedly unsentimental streak."
Beginning his career with Westerns, Leonard moved into crime fiction with The Big Bounce. His following grew exponentially with the novels 52 Pick Up, City Primeval, Stick and LaBrava;† Glitz, published in 1985, pushed him into the bestseller lists and Pagan Babies kept him there. His critical and commercial success peaked in the last decade with Hollywood adaptations of Get Shorty, Touch, Out of Sight, and Rum Punch filmed as Jackie Brown by Quentin Tarantino. Tishomingo Blues, Leonardís thirty-seventh novel, was just published.
Elmore Leonard lives outside Detroit, Michigan.