The New School Writing Program | http://www.newschool.edu/writing
Walter Mosley has published more than 30 books, on subjects ranging from politics to sex to science fiction. His unforgettable novel RL's Dream (1995) brought the legend of blues singer Robert Johnson into the present. Since 1990, with the publication of Devil in a Blue Dress, he has been the leading author of crime fiction in the United States. That year saw the first of the Easy Rawlins detective stories, now a ten-book series that maps the crossroads of crime and race in post-World War II Los Angeles, the city where Mosley was born and raised, and creates one of the most complex and conflicted fictional heroes of our time. Those books are all set in the past, but last year Mosley published The Long Fall and Known to Evil, launching a new character, Leonid McGill, an African-American detective in contemporary New York. These two twisting, emotionally rich crime stories are also parables of how American life is being altered, or is refusing to change, with the presidency of Barack Obama. Mosley wrote the entry "Hardboiled" for A New Literary History of America, published last year by Harvard University Press. He is a member of the boards of the Nation and TransAfrica. His many awards include a 2002 Grammy for his liner notes to Richard Pryor . . . And It's Deep, Too! The Complete Warner Bros. Recordings (1968--1992), a set that, in its way, is a version of the story Mosley has been telling for the last 20 years.
This is one of four events curated and hosted by Distinguished Visiting Professor Greil Marcus as a part of his course Old Weird America: Music as Democratic Speech, connected to the mission of the Riggio Honors Program: Writing and Democracy and the rich intersections of writing, music and cultural criticism.
Riggio Forum events are presented by the Len and Louise Riggio Writing and Democracy Initiative at The New School. Founded in 2005, the Len and Louise Riggio Honors Program: Writing & Democracy is anchored in the conviction that reading and writing are the engines of democratic literacy and that the skills of reading and writing include those associated with creative writing but also extend to the reading and writing of law, politics, history, biography, science, marketing, and technology. For more information, visit http://www.newschool.edu/generalstudies and http://www.newschool.edu/riggio
Greil Marcus is an American author, music journalist and cultural critic. He is notable for producing scholarly and literary essays that place rock music in a much broader framework of culture and politics than is customary in pop music journalism.
Marcus was born in San Francisco. He earned an undergraduate degree in American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, where he also did graduate work in political science. He has been a rock critic and columnist for Rolling Stone (where he was the first reviews editor, at $30 a week) and other publications, including Creem, the Village Voice and Artforum.
Marcus is the author of Mystery Train, Lipstick Traces and Invisible Republic, among many other books.
Walter Mosley is the author of more than 34 critically acclaimed books, including the bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into 21 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.