In a New York Times “By the Book” feature, George Pelecanos (The Man Who Came Uptown, The Sweet Forever) admits that his favorite fictional detective is C. W. Sughrue, from James Crumley’s “The Last Good Kiss.“ And that, while he loves fiction set in the South and he’s a fan of literary westerns, he can’t “get my head around sci-fi or fantasy. I’m not putting those genres down, it’s just that I’m not built for them.”

Asked to organize an imaginary literary dinner party featuring three writers, dead or alive, Pelecanos puts together a dream team:

Christopher Hitchens, Anthony Bourdain and Barack Obama. Hitchens and Tony were brilliant conversationalists and could hold court with authority. As for President Obama, I’d invite him just to shake his hand.

Pelecanos is a bestselling author of twenty novels set in and around Washington, D.C. and an independent film producer, as well as a producer and Emmy-nominated writer on the HBO series The Wire, Treme, and The Deuce.

Pelecanos’ newest book, The Man Who Came Uptown, will be published by Mulholland Books on September 4th. Kirkus likes the book a lot. “Using his customary knowing dialogue and stripped-down, soulful prose, Pelecanos skillfully, sensitively works the urban frontier where the problems and stresses of everyday life cross the line into the sort of criminal behavior that could tempt anyone-anyone at all.”

The full New York Times piece is here.

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