For over five decades, the work of the award-winning crime writer known for Out of Sight and Get Shorty,has served as a barometer of modern America.

This article titled “Elmore Leonard obituary” was written by Nick Kimberley, for The Guardian on Tuesday 20th August 2013 15.40 UTC

When Elmore Leonard's Stick was published in Britain in 1984, one newspaper called it “a fine first novel”. At almost 60, the author would have been amused at such an accolade; it was, in fact, his 21st novel, and Leonard, who has died aged 87, had been selling his fiction regularly, occasionally to Hollywood. But the genres in which he chose to work often failed to attract serious critical attention: westerns first, then crime novels set in the contemporary urban hinterlands.

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