George Pelecanos


George Pelecanos

Infobox Writer
name = George Pelecanos



imagesize = 200px
caption =
pseudonym =
birthdate = 1957
birthplace = Washington, D.C., United States
deathdate =
deathplace =
occupation = Novelist, Journalist, Television Writer
nationality = American
period =
genre =
notableworks =
subject = Crime fiction
movement =
influences =
influenced =


website =
:"Pelecanos" redirects here. For the private investigator and Federal convict and defendant, see Anthony Pellicano."George Pelecanos (born 1957 in Washington, D.C.) is an American author of detective fiction set primarily in his hometown of Washington, D.C. He is also a film and television producer and a television writer. He has worked extensively on the HBO series "The Wire".

Biography

Novelist

Greek-American by descent, Pelecanos's early novels were written in the first person voice of Nick Stefanos, a Greek D.C. resident and some-time private investigator.

After the success of his first four novels, the Stefanos-narrated "A Firing Offense", "Nick's Trip", and "Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go", and the non-series (though some characters do cross over) "Shoedog", Pelecanos switched his narrative style considerably and expanded the scope of his fiction with his D.C. Quartet. He has commented that he did not feel he had the ability to be this ambitious earlier in his career.cite web
author = Robert Birnbaum
title = Interview: George Pelecanos
publisher = Identity Theory
accessdate = 2007-09-17
url = http://www.identitytheory.com/interviews/birnbaum100.html
] The quartet, often compared to James Ellroy's L.A. Quartet, spanned several decades and communities within the changing population of Washington. Now writing in the third person, Pelecanos relegated Stefanos to a supporting character and introduced his first "salt and pepper" team of crime fighters, Dimitri Karras and Marcus Clay.

In "The Big Blowdown", set a generation before Karras and Clay would appear (the 1950s), Pelecanos followed the lives of dozens of D.C. residents, tracking the challenges and changes that the second half of the twentieth century presented to Washingtonians. "King Suckerman", set in the 1970s and generally regarded as the fans' favorite, introduced the recurring theme of basketball in Pelecanos' fiction. Typically, he employs the sport as a symbol of cooperation amongst the races, suggesting the dynamism of D.C. as reflective of the good will generated by multi-ethnic pick up games. However, he also indulges the reverse of the equation, wherein the basketball court becomes the site of unresolved hostilities. In such cases, violent criminal behavior typically emerges amongst the participants, usually escalating the mystery. "The Sweet Forever" (1980s) and "Shame the Devil" (1990s) closed the quartet and Pelecanos retired Stefanos and the other characters that populated the novels. (Stefanos and other characters do re-appear in subsequent works.)

In 2001, he introduced a new team of private detectives, Derek Strange and Terry Quinn, as the protagonists of "Right as Rain". They have subsequently starred in the author's more recent works "Hell to Pay" and "Soul Circus". While these books have cemented the author's reputation as one of the best current American crime writers and sold consistently, they have not garnered the critical and cult affection his D.C. quartet did. Rather, they seem to be continuing the author's well received formula of witty protagonists chasing unconflicted criminals behind the backdrop of popular culture references and D.C. landmarks.

Perhaps sensing this, Pelecanos again switched his focus in his 2004 novel, "Hard Revolution", taking one of his new detectives, Derek Strange, back in time to his early days on the D.C. police force. In another interesting move, Pelecanos attached a CD to the book itself, emulating Michael Connelly who included a CD with his 2003 Harry Bosch book "Lost Light."

In 2005, Pelecanos saw another novel published, "Drama City". This book revisited the examination of dogfighting begun in his book "Hell To Pay". Pelecanos is a dog owner and has written about his views of dogfighting.cite web
author = George Pelecanos
title = Dogfighting's Poisonous Politics
publisher = New Republic
accessdate = 2007-09-01
url = http://www.tnr.com/doc.mhtml?i=20070910&s=pelecanos091007
]

In 2006 he published "The Night Gardener", which was a major change of style and which featured a cameo of himself. Pelecanos has also published short fiction in a variety of anthologies and magazines, including "Measures of Poison" and "Usual Suspects". His reviews have been published in "The Washington Post Book World", "The New York Times Book Review", and elsewhere.

His most recent novel, "The Turnaround", was published in August 2008. This is both areturn to his roots, as the novel opens in the 70s in a Greek diner, and a continuation of his more modern style in the portion set in the present.

"The Wire"

Pelecanos has written and produced for HBO's "The Wire" and is part of a literary circle with non-fiction writer and "The Wire" producer David Simon and Laura Lippman.

Simon sought out Pelecanos after reading his work. Simon was recommended his novels several times but did not read his work initially because of territorial prejudice; Simon is from Baltimore.cite web
author = Mary Alice Blackwell
title = Fun comes down to 'The Wire'
publisher = Daily Progress
accessdate = 2006-09-27
url = http://www.dailyprogress.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=CDP/MGArticle/CDP_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1173350356360&TheWireHBO
] Once Simon received a further recommendations including one from Lippman he tried "The Sweet Forever" and changed his mind.Cite web|url=http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/10/22/071022fa_fact_talbot?currentPage=1|title=Stealing Life|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=The New Yorker|year=2007|author=Margaret Talbot] The two writers have much in common including a childhood in Silver Spring, Maryland, attendance at the University of Maryland and their interest in the "fate of the American city and the black urban poor". They first met at the funeral of a mutual friend shortly after Simon delivered the pilot episode. Simon pitched Pelecanos the idea of "The Wire" as a novel for television about the American city as Pelecanos drove him home. Pelecanos was excited about the prospect of writing something more than simple mystery for television as he strives to exceed the boundaries of genre in his novels.

Pelecanos joined the writing staffCite web|url=http://www.hbo.com/thewire/cast/crew/season_1.shtml|title=Season 1 crew|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=HBO|year=2007] and wrote the first season episode "Cleaning Up".cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 12 The Hunt
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-07-31
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season1/episode12.shtml
] cite episode
title = Cleaning Up
episodelink = Cleaning Up (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, Ed Burns, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2002-09-01
season = 1
number = 12
] He joined the production team for the show's second seasonCite web|url=http://www.hbo.com/thewire/cast/crew/season_2.shtml|title=Season 2 crew|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=HBO|year=2007] and wrote the episodes "Duck and Cover"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 21 duck and cover
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-06-22
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season2/episode08.shtml
] cite episode
title = Duck and Cover
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2003-07-27
season = 2
number = 08
] and "Bad Dreams".cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 24 bad dreams
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-06-22
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season2/episode11.shtml
] cite episode
title = Bad Dreams
episodelink = Bad Dreams (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2003-08-17
season = 2
number = 11
] He continued to write and produce for the show's third seasonCite web|url=http://www.hbo.com/thewire/cast/crew/season_3.shtml|title=Season 3 crew|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=HBO|year=2007] and wrote the episodes "Hamsterdam",cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 29 Amsterdam
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-08-07
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season3/episode04.shtml
] cite episode
title = Amsterdam
episodelink = Amsterdam (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, Ed Burns
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-10-10
season = 3
number = 04
] and "Middle Ground".cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 36 middle ground
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-08-09
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season3/episode11.shtml
] cite episode
title = Middle Ground
episodelink = Middle Ground (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-12-12
season = 3
number = 11
] Simon and Pelecanos' collaboration on "Middle Ground" received the show's only Emmy nomination to date, in the category Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series.Cite web|url=http://www.emmys.tv/awards/awardsearch.php|title=Emmy award archives|accessdate=2007-10-16|publisher=Academy of Television Arts & Sciences|year=2007] Pelecanos left the production staff of "The Wire" after the show's third season to concentrate on writing "The Night Gardener".Cite web|url=http://members.aol.com/TheWireHBO/exclusive-17.html|title=Exclusive David Simon Q&A|accessdate=2007-10-14|publisher=AOL|year=2007] His role as a producer was taken on by Eric Overmyer. Pelecanos continued to work on the show as a writer and contributed to the story and wrote the teleplay for the penultimate episode of the fourth season "That's Got His Own".cite web
year = 2006
title = Episode guide - episode 49 That's Got His Own
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2007-03-30
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season4/episode49.shtml
] cite episode
title = That's Got His Own
episodelink = That's Got His Own (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = Ed Burns, George Pelecanos
writers = George Pelecanos
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-12-03
season = 4
number = 12
] Simon has commented that he missed having Pelecanos working on the show full-time but was a fan of "The Night Gardener". Simon also spent time embedded with a homicide unit while researching his own book "". Pelecanos wrote a seventh episode of "The Wire" for the show's fifth and final season, "Late Editions".

Personal life

As of 2006, Pelecanos lives in the Washington, D.C. suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland with his wife and three children. He wears a Tag Heur Monaco.

Bibliography

Novels

*"Shoedog" (1994)
*"Drama City" (2005)
*"The Night Gardener" (2006)
*"The Turnaround" (2008)

Nick Stefanos Series

*"A Firing Offense" (1992)
*"Nick's Trip" (1993)
*"Down by the River Where the Dead Men Go" (1995)
*"Stefanos Novels: Down By The River, A Firing Offence, Nick's Trip" (omnibus) (2002)

D.C. Quartet Series

*"The Big Blowdown" (1996)
*"King Suckerman" (1997)
*"The Sweet Forever" (1998)
*"Shame the Devil" (2000)

Derek Strange and Terry Quinn Series

*"Right as Rain" (2001)
*"Hell to Pay" (2002)
*"Soul Circus" (2003)
*"Hard Revolution" (2004)
*"Right as Rain, Hell to Pay, Soul Circus" (omnibus) (2005)

Editor

*"D.C. Noir" (2006)
*"Best American Mystery Stories 2008" (2008)

Filmography

*"The Pacific" (co-producer)
*"The Wire" (producer)
**Episode 1.12 "Cleaning Up"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 12 The Hunt
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-07-31
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season1/episode12.shtml
] cite episode
title = Cleaning Up
episodelink = Cleaning Up (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, Ed Burns, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2002-09-01
season = 1
number = 12
] (teleplay)
**Episode 2.08 "Duck and Cover"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 21 duck and cover
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-06-22
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season2/episode08.shtml
] cite episode
title = Duck and Cover
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2003-07-27
season = 2
number = 08
] (story and teleplay)
**Episode 2.11 "Bad Dreams"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 24 bad dreams
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-06-22
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season2/episode11.shtml
] cite episode
title = Bad Dreams
episodelink = Bad Dreams (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2003-08-17
season = 2
number = 11
] (story and teleplay)
**Episode 3.04 "Hamsterdam"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 29 Amsterdam
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-08-07
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season3/episode04.shtml
] cite episode
title = Amsterdam
episodelink = Amsterdam (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, Ed Burns
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-10-10
season = 3
number = 04
] (story and teleplay)
**Episode 3.11 "Middle Ground"cite web
year = 2004
title = Episode guide - episode 36 middle ground
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2006-08-09
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season3/episode11.shtml
] cite episode
title = Middle Ground
episodelink = Middle Ground (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = David Simon, George P. Pelecanos
writers =
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-12-12
season = 3
number = 11
] (story and teleplay)
**Episode 4.12 "That's Got His Own"cite web
year = 2006
title = Episode guide - episode 49 That's Got His Own
publisher = HBO
accessdate = 2007-03-30
url = http://www.hbo.com/thewire/episode/season4/episode49.shtml
] cite episode
title = That's Got His Own
episodelink = That's Got His Own (The Wire episode)
series = The Wire
serieslink = The Wire (TV series)
credits = Ed Burns, George Pelecanos
writers = George Pelecanos
network = HBO
station =
city =
airdate = 2004-12-03
season = 4
number = 12
] (story and teleplay)

External links

* [http://www.twbookmark.com/features/georgepelecanos/index.html George Pelecanos' official web site]
*imdb name|id=0670782|name=George Pelecanos
* [http://www.metacritic.com/books/authors/pelecanosgeorge/nightgardener The Night Gardener Reviews] at Metacritic.com
* [http://www.metacritic.com/books/authors/pelecanosgeorge/dramacity Drama City Reviews] at Metacritic.com
* [http://tsoya.blogspot.com/2006/03/podcast-elements-of-style.html Extensive audio interview] on public radio program The Sound of Young America
* [http://www.iblist.com/author1792.htm George P. Pelecanos] at the Internet Book List
* [http://citypages.com/databank/27/1337/article14551.asp "Ten Thousand Bullets"] interview in City Pages, July 19, 2006
* [http://blogs.citypages.com/pscholtes/2006/07/george_pelecano.asp "George Pelecanos on 'The Wire' and D.C. pulp fiction"] outtakes from the City Pages interview, July 19, 2006
* [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/07/15/AR2008071502119.html "Crime Story"] article on George Pelecanos, Sunday, July 20, 2008; Page W08, from: http://www.washingtonpost.com

References


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