Mystic River was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award, and it won both the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel as well as the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction given by the Massachusetts Center for the Book.
Before becoming a full-time writer, Lehane worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores, and loaded tractor-trailers. His one regret is that no one ever gave him a chance to tend bar. He lives in the Boston, Massachusetts, area.
One title from his list of five favorite short story collections, as told to The Daily Beast:
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond CarverRead about the other books on Lehane's list.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love introduced me to the modern short story. The first story “Why Don’t You Dance?” might be the densest “minimalist” story ever written, a seven-page masterpiece about a brokenhearted guy who puts all of his household possessions out on his front lawn, and a young couple wanders by and thinks it’s a yard sale. And it just gets better from there, story by story, building to the savage grace of the title story. In terms of short fiction in America, this book was an inarguable game changer.
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love appears on Ward Just's list of six books with an “autumnal” quality.
Read about Dennis Lehane's five most important books.