ANOTHER NOTCH IN ELMORE LEONARD’S GUN
This past June the Western Writers of America presented the Owen Wister Award to Elmore Leonard for his contributions to the literature of the west. It’s gratifying to see the WWA finally acknowledge what the film moguls of Hollywood have known for years; the pastures of Mr. Leonard’s west offer some mighty good grazing ground. Western films based on his work include 3:10 to Yuma, Hombre, Valdez is Coming, and Last Stand at Saber River. Mr. Leonard wrote the body of his western work - short stories and novels - during the decades of the ‘50s and ‘60s, and has long since migrated to the suspense genre (with great success). But just like in the old west, once you have a reputation for something, it tends to follow you around. Even a cursory reading of The Complete Western Stories of Elmore Leonard will reveal why a posse of producers as well as the WWA are still hard on his trail, even after all these years.