The official word comes from the author’s Web site, on which a short note appeared today: “Elmore passed away this morning at 7:15 AM at home surrounded by his loving family.”
In a beautifully wrought obituary, The New York Times’ Marilyn Stasio styled Leonard as “a modern master of American genre writing.” Writes Stasio:
To his admiring peers, Mr. Leonard did not merely validate the popular crime thriller; he stripped the form of its worn-out affectations, reinventing it for a new generation and elevating it to a higher literary shelf.The author of more than 35 novels, more than a dozen of which were adapted for the screen, Leonard left an indelible mark on American literature. His contributions were recognized during the National Book Awards presentations in 2012, when this Detroit-area fictionist was given the Medal for Distinguished Contribution.
But as author Louis Bayard notes today in The Washington Post, “What made Mr. Leonard stand out among other chroniclers of crime and punishment was his voice--laconic, funny, unsentimental--and his ruthlessly coherent vision of life in the lower depths. As described in a 2008 Washington Post profile, Mr. Leonard’s world is ‘populated by cops who aren’t exactly good, crooks who aren’t exactly bad, and women who have an eye for the in-between.’”
READ MORE: “Novelist Elmore Leonard, ‘Dickens of Detroit,’ Has Died,” by Susan Whitall (Detroit News); “Crime Novelist Elmore Leonard Dies at 87,” by (Los Angeles Times); “Best-selling Author Elmore Leonard Dies at 87,” by Mike Householder (Associated Press); How Elmore Leonard Wrote All His Books,” by Brad Plumer (The Washington Post); “R.I.P., Elmore Leonard (1925-2013),” by Jeff Wattrick (Deadline Detroit); “A Mighty Kauri Falls: R.I.P., Elmore Leonard,” by Craig Sisterson (Crime Watch); “‘My Favourite Elmore Leonard Book’” (Mr. Hyde); “R.I.P., Elmore Leonard,” by Michael Carlson (Irresistible Targets); “Elmore Leonard Dies at 87,” by Chris Schluep (Omnivoracious); “Elmore Leonard’s ’10 Rules of Writing,’” by Linda L. Richards (January Magazine); “Elmore Leonard’s Life in the Times,” by John Williams (The New York Times); “Elmore Leonard, R.I.P., 1925-2013,” by Nick Jones (Existential Ennui); “Elmore Leonard: In Remembrance,” by James Mustich (Barnes & Noble Review); “In Memoriam: Elmore Leonard,” by Clayton Moore (Kirkus Reviews); “Elmore and Me,” by D.P. Lyle (The Writer’s Forensics Blog); “Just Some of My Favorite Elmore Leonard Covers,” by Heath Lowrance; “Elmore Libre” (Pulp International); “Elmore Leonard Dies: The Crime Writer’s TV Hits and Misses,” by Patrick Kevin Day (Los Angeles Times); “Remembering Elmore Leonard: His Most Memorable Work on Screen” (Yahoo! Movies).