Elmore Leonard Gets His Due

Elmore LeonardThis November, at the age of eighty-seven, writer Elmore Leonard will get his due. The National Book Foundation is awarding him its Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters, to be presented by the also-notable, but not-American, letterer Martin Amis. Previous recipients of the medal include Ray Bradbury, Norman Mailer, Arthur Miller, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, John Updike, Gore Vidal, and Tom Wolfe. From the Sioux City Journal (AP), snips ours:

“I was very surprised. I didn’t ever count on winning this kind of an award,” Leonard, with one of his trademark Virginia Slims between his fingers, said in an interview at his home in suburban Detroit. “I’ve won a lot of awards, but not like this one.”

. . . as Leonard puts it, in his succinct style: “I think I’m a good writer. I don’t see any objection to my being on this list.”

Leonard’s being allowed six minutes by organizers for his acceptance speech. What’s the Vegas line on him going beyond “Thanks?”


  1. Mary Saputo

    I’ve never been much of a fan of Elmore Leonard. I was shocked to find out that he was the writer behind Justified.

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