Acclaimed American writer who praised plain writing achieved literary daring across 60-year publishing careerAlthough the death of the American writer Elmore Leonard – on Tuesday, aged 87, in Detroit, from complications from a recent stroke – is certainly a matter for sadness and regret, the writer would not want to be responsible for anyone speaking of the news “sadly” or “regretfully”.One of his much-circulated 10 Rules for Successful Writing – in which he distilled the approach that brought him six decades of bestsellerdom – was that dialogue should never have any descriptive modifier. “‘Leonard is dead,’ they said,” is something like the way the news should be communicated, according to his stylistic strictures, which always emphasised simplicity. Another is “try to leave out the parts that readers skip”.If there was a Leonard formula, it was remarkably efficient. The publication this year of the paperback edition of Raylan, his 45th novel, means that he achieved a 60-year publishing career that began with The Bounty Hunters in 1953. It was a literary longevity approached by only a few other novelists, including Agatha Christie and Georges Simenon.In common with them, Leonard is generally classified as a crime or mystery writer, but he began …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books