Walter Mosley with Viet Thanh Nguyen 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Walter Mosley
in conversation with Viet Thanh Nguyen 

discussing his book,
Elements of Fiction


Peltz Theater
Museum of Tolerance
9786 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035

 Reserved Section  (includes book)
$35.00 General Admission Section  (includes book)
$20.00 General Admission Section 

Walter Mosley is the author of more than fifty critically-acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. In 2013, he was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, and he is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, the Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy, PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and an Edgar Award. He previously appeared at Live Talks Los Angeles in conversation with Karen Grigsby Bates (video)

Viet Thanh Nguyen was born in Vietnam and raised in America. His novel The Sympathizer won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, as well as five other awards. He is also the author of the short story collection The Refugees, and nonfiction books Nothing Ever Dies and Race and Resistance, and editor of The Displaced: Refugee Writers on Refugee Lives. He is a University Professor, the Aerol Arnold Chair of English, and a Professor of English, American Studies and Ethnicity, and Comparative Literature at the University of Southern California.

“Drawing on a prolific and successful crime fiction career, Mosley returns to elucidating the author’s craft, after 2007’s This Year You Write Your Novel, in this compact but insight-rich monograph. He addresses plot structure, character development, authorial voice, and the journey from a blank page, the would-be writer’s ‘first impediment and biggest obstacle,’ to the final stage of ‘putting it all together’…Mosley has skillfully packed a large canvas into a small frame, which should equally please readers who enjoy seeing a writer at work and writers in need of assistance.”—Publishers Weekly                                                                     

In his essential writing guide, This Year You Write Your Novel, Walter Mosley supplied aspiring writers with the basic tools to write a novel in one year. In this com-plementary follow up, Mosley guides the writer through the elements of not just any fiction writing, but the kind of writing that transcends convention and truly stands out. How does one approach the genius of writers like Melville, Dickens, or Twain? In The Elements of Fiction, Walter Mosley contemplates the answer.

In a series of instructive and conversational chapters, Mosley demonstrates how to master fiction’s most essential elements: character and char-acter development, plot and story, voice and narrative, context and description, and more. The result is a vivid depiction of the writing process, from the blank page to the first draft to rewriting, and rewriting again. Throughout, The Elements of Fiction is enriched by brilliant demonstrative examples that Mosley himself has written here for the first time.

Inspiring, accessible, and told in a voice both trustworthy and wise, The Elements of Fiction writing will intrigue and encourage writers and readers alike.


Walter Mosley with Karen Grigsby Bates

Sunday, June 19, 2016
7:30pm (Reception, 6-7:00pm)
An Evening with Walter Mosley and Friends
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Easy Rawlins
discussing the writing life and his new book in the series, Charcoal Joe
& dramatic readings from Charcoal Joe and Devil in a Blue Dress

Ann and Jerry Moss Theatre
New Roads School

Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404

$20 General Admission
$43 Reserved Section Seating, copy of Charcoal Joe
$95 Reception (6:30-7:30pm) Reserved Section seats, copy of Charcoal Joe

Twenty Five years ago, Ezekiel “Easy” Rawlins came onto the literary scene—just back from World War II—and opened the door on a Los Angeles that had not been part of the signature Los Angeles noir novels written by the masters, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald.  Walter Mosley’s books on Easy Rawlins and his neighbors and friends touched a nerve; his deft capturing of the conversations, the deep connections and frustrations of his characters made his books both critical and popular successes.

Since Devil in A Blue Dress set Easy out on his first job of detection,  Mosley has published close to 50 books across genres and formats.   His characters’ popularity and the critical acclaim his books drew opened doors for another generation of writers of color, not only in the mystery field but in other genres as well. 

At this quarter century mark, Mosley is being recognized for this series’ deep cultural importance and impact by his award of Grandmaster by the Mystery Writers of America organization.  With the publication of the new Easy Rawlins, Charcoal Joe, we look forward to celebrating the anniversary of the Easy Rawlins series as well as the wider intellectual and political scope of the writer himself. 

Walter Mosley’s indelible detective Easy Rawlins is back, with a new detective agency and a new mystery to solve. Picking up where Rose Gold left off in Los Angeles in the late 1960s, Easy Rawlins finds his life in transition. He’s ready to—finally—propose to his girlfriend, Bonnie Shay, and start a life together. And he’s taken the money he got from the Rose Gold case and has, together with two partners, started a new detective agency. But, inevitably, a case gets in the way: Easy’s friend Mouse introduces him to Rufus Tyler, a very old man everyone calls Charcoal Joe. Joe’s friend’s son, Seymour (young, bright, top of his class at Stanford), has been arrested and charged with the murder of a white man from Redondo Beach. Rufus tells Easy he will pay and pay well to see his nephew exonerated, but seeing as how Seymour was literally found standing over the man’s dead body at his cabin home and the racially charged motives behind it, that might prove to be a tall order.

Between his new company, a heart that should be broken but is not, a whole raft of new bad guys on his tail, and a bad odor that surrounds Charcoal Joe, Easy has his hands full, his horizons askew, and a life in shambles on the ground around his feet.

Karen Grigsby Bates is a Los Angeles-based correspondent for NPR News, where she covers race, ethnicity and culture and how they each affect several aspects of American life.  In addition, Bates often reports on authors and their work for NPR shows, especially Morning Edition.  She’s been a reporter and substitute host for the Tavis Smiley show, and a correspondent for Day to Day.  In her spare time, Bates has written several books, including two mysteries featuring reporter-sleuth Alex Powell.