Obstacle Course

Dennis Lehane talks about his upcoming historical novel, The Given Day, with the Dallas Morning News (via). I heard Lehane read an excerpt last fall at the Folger Shakespeare Library and was floored. (Around the same time, he was also generous enough to write a brief appreciation of Richard Price‘s Clockers when I asked.) Says Lehane:

“The challenge after Mystic River was to not get caught in a cycle of Mystic Rivers,” he says. “So I wrote Shutter Island (the story of a woman who escapes from a hospital for the criminally insane, currently being filmed by Martin Scorsese). The challenge after Shutter Island was to do a book about the Boston police strike, and then I very quickly realized I was dealing with a historical epic. Every time out I have to go some place artistically different for myself. That’s just for me. I can’t speak for everyone, but ultimately I can’t get inspired unless I’m testing myself.”

Lehane was, of course, a writer for The Wire, and the story notes that (spoiler alert!) he wrote the teleplay for the episode in which Omar Little is killed. “I killed Omar,” he tells the Morning News. “I got hate mail about it.”

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