Lawrence Block (b. 1938) is a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America and an internationally acclaimed New York Times bestselling author. His awards include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger Lifetime Achievement Award from the Crime Writers’ Association (UK). Although he is best known for his four main mystery series, Block explored a variety of genres, including thrillers and erotica, and developed an early following as a pulp-fiction writer under a number of pseudonyms. Born in Buffalo, New York, Block has three daughters and currently lives with his wife in New York City.
Lawrence Block (b. 1938) is the recipient of a Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and an internationally renowned bestselling author. His prolific career spans more than one hundred books, including four bestselling series as well as dozens of short stories, articles, and books on writing. He has won four Edgar and Shamus awards, two Falcon awards from the Maltese Falcon Society of Japan, the Nero and Philip Marlowe awards, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, and the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers Association of the United Kingdom. In France, he has been awarded the title Grand Maître du Roman Noir and has twice received the Société 813 trophy.
Born in Buffalo, New York, Block attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Leaving school before graduation, he moved to New York City, a locale that figures prominently in most of his works. His earliest published writing appeared in the 1950s, frequently under pseudonyms, and many of these novels are now considered classics of the pulp fiction genre. During his early writing years, Block also worked in the mailroom of a publishing house and reviewed the submission slush pile for a literary agency. He has cited the latter experience as a valuable lesson for a beginning writer.
Block’s first short story, “You Can’t Lose,” was published in 1957 in Manhunt. It was the first of dozens of short stories and articles that he would publish over the years in publications including American Heritage, Redbook, Playboy, Cosmopolitan, GQ, and the New York Times. His short fiction has been featured and reprinted in over eleven collections including Enough Rope (2002).
In 1966, Block introduced the insomniac protagonist Evan Tanner in the novel The Thief Who Couldn’t Sleep. Block’s other heroes include the urbane and witty bookseller—and thief-on-the-side—Bernie Rhodenbarr; the gritty recovering alcoholic and private investigator Matthew Scudder; and Chip Harrison, the comical assistant to a private investigator with a Nero Wolfe fixation. Block has also written several short stories and novels featuring Keller, a professional hit man. Block’s work is praised for his richly imagined and varied characters and frequent use of humor.
A father of three daughters, Block lives in New York City with his second wife, Lynne. When he isn’t touring or attending mystery conventions, he and Lynne are frequent travelers. They have been members of the Travelers’ Century Club for nearly a decade, and have visited about 150 countries.