George Pelecanos biography, plus links to book reviews and book excerpts from books by George Pelecanos.

Author Biography  |  Interview  |  Books by this Author  |  Readalikes

George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos

George Pelecanos Biography

George Pelecanos was born in Washington, D.C. in 1957. He worked as a line cook, dishwasher, bartender, and woman's shoe salesman before publishing his first novel in 1992.

Pelecanos is the author of fifteen crime novels set in and around Washington, D.C., including A Firing Offense, Nick's Trip, Shoedog, The Big Blowdown, King Suckerman, The Sweet Forever, Shame the Devil, The Night Gardener, and The Turnaround. He has been the recipient of the Raymond Chandler award in Italy, the Falcon award in Japan, and the Grand Prix Du Roman Noir in France. His short fiction has appeared in Esquire and several collections. He is an award-winning essayist who has written for The New York Times, Washington Post, GQ, and numerous other publications.

Pelecanos served as producer on the feature films Caught, Whatever and BlackMale and was the U.S. distributor of John Woo's cult classic, The Killer and Richard Bugajski's Interrogation. Most recently, he was a producer, writer, and story editor for the acclaimed HBO dramatic series, The Wire, winner of the Peabody Award and the AFI Award. He was a writer on the World War II miniseries The Pacific, produced by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg.

Pelecanos lives in Silver Spring, Maryland, with his wife and three children. He is at work on his next novel.

From the author's website

Link to George's website

This biography was last updated on 01/20/2011.

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Interview

Q & A with George Pelecanos

You have indicated that Hard Revolution may be the best book you have ever written. Why do you think this is true?
I'm certainly pleased with it. Hard Revolution is big in terms of scope and ambition but doesn't lose sight of its characters. It's the book I've always wanted to write.

Journalists have commented that crime fiction is one of the only genres that provides a setting in which writers can deal with social issues. Hard Revolution is set during one of the most difficult times in the history of Washington D.C. Why was it so important for you to write this particular novel and what are the issues you hope will come across to readers?
I was eleven years old in 1968. Two months after the riots, I took a bus every day down to my father's lunch counter, where I worked as a delivery boy. The D.C. Transit passed through parts of town that had been completely destroyed. Some of the people on the bus had lost entire neighborhoods, but clearly they had won something too. I could see it in their posture, style of dress, and attitude. But it registered with me on a gut rather than an intellectual level. Since then, I have always wanted to find out "what ...

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Books by this Author

Books by George Pelecanos at BookBrowse

Recommended in Detail at BookBrowse

The Turnaround
The Turnaround

by George Pelecanos

On a hot summer afternoon in 1972, three teenagers drove into an unfamiliar neighborhood and six lives were altered forever. Thirty five years later, one survivor of that day reaches out to another, opening a door that could lead to salvation. But another survivor is now out of prison, looking for reparation in any form he can find it.
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All the books below are recommended as readalikes for George Pelecanos but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
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  • Russell Banks

    Russell Banks

    Russell Banks was raised in New Hampshire and eastern Massachusetts. The eldest of four children, he grew up in a working-class environment, which has played a major role in his writing.

    Mr. Banks (who was the first in his... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Turnaround

    Try:
    Lost Memory of Skin
    by Russell Banks

  • James Lee Burke

    James Lee Burke

    James Lee Burke was born in Houston, Texas, in 1936 and grew up on the Texas-Louisiana gulf coast. He attended Southwestern Louisiana Institute and later received a B. A. Degree in English and an M. A. from the University ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Night Gardener

    Try:
    Jolie Blon's Bounce
    by James Lee Burke

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