James Ellroy

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Photo of James Ellroy by Robert Birnbaum

James Ellroy (born Lee Earle Ellroy on March 4, 1948 in Los Angeles, California) is one of the world's best-selling crime writers and essayists with a unique "telegraphic" writing style, which omits words other writers would consider necessary. His books are noted for their dark humor and depiction of American authoritarianism.

In 1958, his mother, Geneva, was murdered in El Monte, where she and Ellroy moved three years after her divorce from his father, Armand. The unsolved killing, and a birthday present from his father a few months later, The Badge by Jack Webb, about the Los Angeles Police Department were pivotal moments in his life as portrayed in My Dark Places.


He writes longhand on legal pads, rather than on a computer, and prepares elaborate outlines for his books that are several hundred pages long. In connection with The Cold Six Thousand Ellroy has said that he is through with "genre fiction" and plans to write mainstream novels.

Ellroy lives in Carmel with his wife, Helen Knode, author of the 2003 novel The Ticket Out.

Films

Bibliography

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