The US National Book Foundation announced that it will award Walter Mosley with the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters 2020 on September 10, 2020.
The United States’ National Book Foundation was established “to raise the cultural appreciation of great writing in America”. The organisation founded and runs the National Book Awards. One of its many other activities is to confer the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters to recognize a lifetime of literary achievement since 1988. Some previous winners of this coveted award have been Stephen King, Ursula K. Le Guin, Elmore Leonard, Norman Mailer, and Toni Morrison.
The winner of the award this year is Walter Mosley who has written more than sixty critically acclaimed books across subject, genre, and category. Walter Mosley’s 1990 debut novel Devil in a Blue Dress was the first in the bestselling mystery series featuring detective Easy Rawlins, and launched Mosley into literary prominence.
Mosley’s books have been translated into twenty-five languages, and he has won numerous awards, including, but not limited to, an Edgar Award for Down the River Unto the Sea, an O. Henry Award, The Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy®, several NAACP Image awards, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, he was named the recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.
The award will be presented to Mosley by two-time National Book Award Finalist Edwidge Danticat.