George Pelecanos

I came upon George Pelecanos through an interview on The Sound of Young America --a place where I seem to be getting a lot of my kult-chah of late.

When I read crime fiction I do so in intense bouts of consumption (that's not TB)where I strive to digest as much as I can in any 24 hour period. But this guy (whose work is overviewed here)is a major literary and, I'd say, political voice.

My first Pelecanos novel was Hard Revolution(2004) which is a highly effective reading of the 1968 race riots in Washington DC. But then,while his stories are so often about racism and Afro Americans, Pelecanos isn't black like so many of his fictional protagonists. If you are inspired by the works of Walter Mosley --as I certainly am -- then it's a very pleasant surprize to find another writer who can transcend the genre and harnass similar potency in his writing.

Crime fiction is a major ideological battlefield of ideas as it so often serves as a platform for a social critique that inhabits a take on urban life that is more real for being so coarsely told.

The irony is that despite these guys radical take on the world -- you can still find the same sharp examination of the real world -- albeit of copland -- in the work of writers like James Ellroy who began his political life in the American Nazi Party.(Go figure!) His American Tabloid is an amazing fictional lead into the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
Most black people in America were not surprised by 11 September.'I haven't met one black person who was surprised. Like everyone else, they were shocked by the magnitude of it, and appalled by the deaths, but they weren't surprised by the hate and anger that produced it. Black Americans are very aware of the attitude of America towards people who are different, people whose beliefs are different, people of a different colour. We live with that attitude every single day. We know how hated America is....'

'Maybe you should think about that question. It's important to rage at the injustice and the lies. If someone keeps telling you it's equal, and everyday you see that it isn't, and every day nothing changes, what have you got except your rage? That is not to say that violence is the solution. Violent responses are the absolute last resort. And, as I think my books show, violence is going to tear you down as well...'

I mean, take 11 September: that was not an act endorsed by God. No matter what these misguided people might believe, that was an act of fanatical craziness. What I believe is that the only way to make sure that sort of atrocity does not happen again is to make sure we don't do it to anyone else
-- Walter Mosley

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