The literary world recently lost a major figure when Elmore Leonard passed away after suffering a stroke three weeks prior. Although he has authored 45 novels many readers may not be familiar with the legacy Leonard left in his time with us here on earth.
Are you familiar with the FX Emmy award winning drama 'Justified'? Perhaps you’ve seen the Oscar nominated movie '3:10 to Yuma'? Do you remember the John Travolta film 'Get Shorty'? Are you a Quentin Tarantino fan; then you've probably seen 'Jackie Brown'. Yep, all of these are Elmore Leonard adaptations.
Elmore Leonard was nicknamed 'Dutch' but he could easily have been called 'Buffalo', as he was part of a vanishing breed. Stephen King called him "The great American writer"; Leonard kept the past alive and relevant through fresh interpretations to current mediums.
The Elmore Leonard Website reported: Elmore passed away in the early morning on August 20th, 2013 at home surrounded by his loving family. The website disclosed that Leonard suffered a stroke a few weeks ago and was hospitalized at an undisclosed Detroit area hospital, his longtime researcher Gregg Sutter confirmed. After the stroke occurred Sutter was quoted as saying, “Elmore had a stroke; he’s doing better every day, and the family is guardedly optimistic. He’s showing great spirit. He’s a fighter, and we’re glad to see that.” Sadly the writer never recovered from his debilitating complications.
As is common with most authors, Leonard was critical of his filmic adaptations. The exceptions being 'Get Shorty' and 'Justified', the latter based on his novella “Fire in the Hole”. The success of the show 'Justified' inspired Leonard to write a novel, “Raylan,” in 2012, about the title character.
Amazingly prolific, perhaps due to the popularity of his work with Hollywood, Elmore Leonard was hard at work on his 46th novel right up to the end. Although much of his work has been adapted to film, only within the last decade has the writer truly seen his star shine brightest.
Leonard had a penchant for characters that could readily fall on either side of the sometimes thin line of legality. This device allowed the author an ample palette to paint a rich tale of twists and unexpected turns. Leonard liked to say that he tried to leave out the parts of a story that readers tend to skip. A neat trick and one that served him well during his long, fruitful career.
I hope this will encourage you to check out one of Elmore Leonard's many works to acknowledge the substantial legacy he left us with.