Conversations with James Ellroy
Conversations with James Ellroy, which I have edited for University of Mississippi Press’ Literary Conversations series, is released this month. The book is a collection of interviews which James Ellroy has given over the course of his literary career. I am very proud of the book, which I think will be of great interest to James Ellroy and crime fiction fans everywhere, and over the coming weeks I shall be posting on this blog some articles about the book. Conversations with James Ellroy is available to buy on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. In the meantime here is the jacket cover and synopsis of the book:
“Morality in literature is largely the expositing of moral acts and their consequences, the karmic price of the perpetrators of the immoral acts, for having committed them.”
As a novelist who has spent years crafting and refining his intense and oft outrageous “Demon Dog of American Crime Fiction” persona, James Ellroy has used interviews as a means of shaping narratives outside of his novels. Conversations with James Ellroy covers a series of interviews given by Ellroy from 1984 to 2010, in which Ellroy discusses his literary contribution and his public and private image.
Born Lee Earle Ellroy in 1948, James Ellroy is one of the most critically acclaimed and controversial contemporary writers of crime and historical fiction. Ellroy’s complex narratives, which merge history and fiction, have pushed the boundaries of the crime fiction genre: American Tabloid, a revisionist look at the Kennedy era, was Time magazine’s Novel of the Year 1995, and his novels L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia were adapted into films. Much of Ellroy’s remarkable life story has served as the template for the personal obsessions that dominate his writing. From the brutal, unsolved murder of his mother, to his descent into alcohol and drug abuse, his sexual voyeurism, and his stints at the Los Angeles County Jail, Ellroy has lived through a series of hellish experiences that few other writers could claim.
In Conversations with James Ellroy, Ellroy talks extensively about his life, his literary influences, his persona, and his attitudes towards politics and religion. In interviews with fellow crime writers Craig McDonald, David Peace, and others, including several previously unpublished interviews, Ellroy is at turns charismatic and eloquent, combative and enigmatic.