Annal: 2010 Edgar Allan Poe Award® for Best Critical/Biographical Work

Results of the Edgar Allan Poe Award® in the year 2010.

Book:The Lineup

The Lineup: The World's Greatest Crime Writers Tell the Inside Story of Their Greatest Detectives

Otto Penzler

A great recurring character in a series you love becomes an old friend. You learn about their strange quirks and their haunted pasts and root for them every time they face danger. But where do some of the most fascinating sleuths in the mystery and thriller world really come from?

What was the real-life location that inspired Michael Connelly to make Harry Bosch a Vietnam vet tunnel rat? Why is Jack Reacher a drifter? How did a brief encounter in Botswana inspire Alexander McCall Smith to create Precious Ramotswe? In The Lineup, some of the top mystery writers in the world tell about the genesis of their most beloved characters—or, in some cases, let their creations do the talking.

Book:Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

Haunted Heart: The Life and Times of Stephen King

Lisa Rogak

One of the most prolific and popular authors in the world today, Stephen King has become part of pop culture history. His best-selling novels such as Carrie, It, Christine, and many others have captured the imaginations of millions of readers. But who is the man behind those tales of horror, grief, and the supernatural? Where do these ideas come from? And what drives him to keep writing at a breakneck pace after a thirty year career?

In this unauthorized biography, Lisa Rogak reveals the troubled background and lifelong fears that inspire one of the twentieth century’s most influential authors. Despite his dark and disturbing work, Stephen King has become revered by critics and his countless fans as an all-American voice more akin to Mark Twain than H. P. Lovecraft. Haunted Heart chronicles his story, revealing the character of a man who has created some of the most memorable—and frightening—stories found in literature today.

Book:The Stephen King Illustrated Companion

The Stephen King Illustrated Companion

Bev Vincent

This book takes a critical look at Stephen King’s most iconic works and reads between the lines to uncover the personal influences and demons as reflected in each monster, epidemic, and depraved character. Unseen family photographs and 16 pieces of previously unpublished ephemera—such as handwritten manuscript notes, typed early drafts, lengthy journal entries, and doodles for King’s college newspaper—complete this tangible tour. Packed with fascinating biographical details, literary interpretations, and personal memorabilia, The Stephen King Illustrated Companion is a must-have addition to any true fan’s library.

Book:The Talented Miss Highsmith

The Talented Miss Highsmith: The Secret Life and Serious Art of Patricia Highsmith

Joan Schenkar

Patricia Highsmith, one of the great writers of 20th Century American fiction, had a life as darkly compelling as that of her favorite “hero-criminal,” talented Tom Ripley. In this revolutionary biography, Joan Schenkar paints a riveting portrait, from Highsmith’s birth in Texas to Hitchcock’s filming of her first novel, Strangers On a Train, to her long, strange, self-exile in Europe. We see her as a secret writer for the comics, a brilliant creator of disturbing fictions, and erotic predator with dozens of women (and a few good men) on her love list. The Talented Miss Highsmith is the first literary biography with access to Highsmith’s whole story: her closest friends, her oeuvre, her archives. It’s a compulsive page-turner unlike any other, a book worthy of Highsmith herself.

Book:Talking About Detective Fiction

Talking About Detective Fiction

P.D. James

In a perfect marriage of author and subject, P. D. James—one of the most widely admired writers of detective fiction at work today—gives us a personal, lively, illuminating exploration of the human appetite for mystery and mayhem, and of those writers who have satisfied it.

P. D. James examines the genre from top to bottom, beginning with the mysteries at the hearts of such novels as Charles Dickens’s Bleak House and Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White, and bringing us into the present with such writers as Colin Dexter and Henning Mankell. Along the way she writes about Arthur Conan Doyle, Dorothy L. Sayers, Agatha Christie (“arch-breaker of rules”), Josephine Tey, Dashiell Hammett, and Peter Lovesey, among many others. She traces their lives into and out of their fiction, clarifies their individual styles, and gives us indelible portraits of the characters they’ve created,…[more]

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