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Trailblazing novelist Walter Mosley will speak at the MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival

Walter Mosley
Walter Mosley's new novel, Farewell, Amethystine, is the 16th in his Easy Rawlins detective series.

A bestselling writer who has deepened the world’s understanding of Black lives will share his insights with a Toronto audience. Walter Mosley will open this weekend’s MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival at Harbourfront Centre.

Mosley’s event, The Past Never Says Goodbye, will launch Farewell, Amethystine, which is the 16th title in his series of Easy Rawlins books. It takes place at 7 p.m. on Friday (June 7) with Roland Gulliver as moderator.

Two of Mosley’s novels have been adapted for the large and small screen. Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress starred Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Tom Sizemore, and Jennifer Beals. Washington played the Black private investigator Easy Rawlins, who is Mosley’s most enduring character. These novels combined traditional detective fiction with expositions on racial injustice in Los Angeles from the 1940s to 1960s.

Mosley also wrote the screenplay for the TV movie version of his novel Always Outnumbered. It starred Laurence Fishburne as a former prisoner trying to prevent a youth from taking a wrong turn in life.


Meanwhile, another Mosley book, Down the River Unto the Sea, won the Edgar Award for best novel. He has also written and staged plays.

In 2020, Mosley became the first Black man to receive the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

The author has leveraged his fame to open doors for other writers from outside of the mainstream. According to his biography, he established The Publishing Certificate Program with the City University of New York. This was “to bring together book professionals and students hailing from a wide range of racial, ethnic and economic communities for courses, internships, and job opportunities”.

Event details

The MOTIVE Crime & Mystery Festival runs from June 7 to 9 at Harbourfront Centre. For the full list of authors and events, visit the website. Learn more about diverse communities from the Toronto Spark website. Follow the Toronto Spark on X @TOSparkOfficial.


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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Toronto Spark editor Charlie Smith has worked as a journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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