Get Shorty author Elmore Leonard suffers stroke


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The Independent Culture

US crime writer Elmore Leonard is recovering from a stroke in a Detroit hospital.

Leonard, 87, whose books include Get Shorty, Rum Punch and Out of Sight, is said to be doing well.

Gregg Sutter, the author’s researcher, said the stroke happened last week. He added Leonard was a “fighter” and “better every day”.

He said the author’s family was “guardedly optimistic” about his recovery.

Leonard is in the middle of his 46th novel and is “working hard” according to Sutter.

In November he was awarded a lifetime achievement medal from the US National Book Foundation for his contribution to fiction.

His crime novels have spawned several film adaptations, including Get Shorty starring John Travolta and Danny DeVito, and Out of Sight starring George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez.

His earliest novels in the 1950s were Westerns and included 3:10 to Yuma, which was also adapted for the big screen.

In 2008 he won the F Scott Fitzgerald Literary Award for outstanding achievement in American literature.

He moved from New Orleans to Detroit aged nine and has lived in the city ever since.

He recently told The Detroit News: “I like it. Great music…lot of poverty. I wouldn’t move anywhere else. Now, it’s too late. I’d never be able to drive to San Francisco or Los Angeles.”

Jon Barrick, chief executive of the Stroke Association in the UK, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear that US crime writer Elmore Leonard has had a stroke.

"Over 150,000 people have a stroke every year in the UK and it is the leading cause of severe adult disability. Our thoughts are with Elmore and his family at this difficult time and we wish him a speedy recovery.”