How to pronounce George Pelecanos: pele-CAH-nos
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 eighteen novels set in and around Washington, D.C. 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. Hell to Pay and Soul Circus were awarded the 2003 and 2004 Los Angeles Times Book Prizes. His short fiction has appeared in Esquire, Playboy, and the collections Unusual Suspects, Best American Mystery Stories of 1997, Measures of Poison, Best American Mystery Stories of 2002, Men From Boys, and Murder at the Foul Line. He served as editor on the collections D.C. Noir and D.C. Noir 2: The Classics, as well as The Best Mystery Stories of 2008. He is an award-winning essayist who has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, GQ, Sight and Sound, Uncut, Mojo, and numerous other publications.
Pelecanos lives with his family in Silver Spring, Maryland.
This biography was last updated on 02/05/2016.
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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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