Author Walter Mosley cemented his legacy within the literary world with famous mystery books like Black Betty and Devil In A Blue Dress. Now, the National Book Foundation announced that they would be honoring the fiction writer with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Los Angeles native will receive the award in a virtual ceremony in November. Mosley has written over 60 books across numerous genres and subjects with turning into Hollywood adaptions. During the course of his career, he has garnered several awards, including a PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award and a Grammy Award while using his platform to champion diversity across the publishing industry.
“Mosley is a master of craft and narrative, and through his incredibly vibrant and diverse body of work, our literary heritage has truly been enriched,” said David Steinberger, chair of the Board of Directors of the National Book Foundation, in a company press statement.
“From mysteries to literary fiction to nonfiction, Mosley’s talent and memorable characters have captivated readers everywhere, and the Foundation is proud to honor such an illustrious voice whose work will be enjoyed for years to come.”
The honor will be the first time in the foundation’s history to give the award to a Black male author. Previous recipients include Toni Morrison and Stephen King.
“Mosley is undeniably prolific, but what sets his work apart is his examination of both complex issues and intimate realities through the lens of characters in his fiction, as well as his accomplished historical narrative works and essays,” said Lisa Lucas, executive director of the National Book Foundation in a statement.
“His oeuvre and his lived experience are distinctly part of the American experience. And as such, his contributions to our culture make him more than worthy of the Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.”