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James Lee Burke

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Occupation  writer, novelist
Spouse  Pearl Burke (m. 1960)
Role  Author

Name  James Burke
Nationality  American
Children  Alafair Burke
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Born  James Lee Burke December 5, 1936 Houston, Texas, United States (1936-12-05)
Movies  In the Electric Mist, Heaven's Prisoners, Two for Texas, Winter Light
Education  University of Missouri (1960), University of Louisiana at Lafayette (1955–1957)
Books  The Neon Rain, Creole Belle, The Tin Roof Blowdow, Black Cherry Blues, Feast Day of Fools
Similar People  Alafair Burke, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, Lee Child, Dennis Lehane

On the road with james lee burke and alafair burke

James Lee Burke (born December 5, 1936) is an American author of mysteries, best known for his Dave Robicheaux series. He has won Edgar Awards for Black Cherry Blues (1990) and Cimarron Rose (1998), and has also been presented with the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. The Robicheaux character has been portrayed twice on screen, first by Alec Baldwin (Heaven's Prisoners) and then Tommy Lee Jones (In the Electric Mist).


Burke's 1982 novel, Two for Texas, was made into a 1998 TV movie by the same name. Burke has also written five miscellaneous crime novels (including Two for Texas), two short story collections, four books starring protagonist Texas attorney Billy Bob Holland, four books starring Billy Bob's cousin Texas sheriff Hackberry Holland, and two books starring Weldon Avery Holland, grandson of Texas legendary lawman Hackberry Holland.

Conversations the world over edgar award winning novelist james lee burke part 1 of 2


Burke was born in Houston, Texas, but spent most of his childhood on the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast. He attended the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and University of Missouri, receiving a BA and MA in English Literature from the latter. He worked in a variety of jobs over the years while books he had written were rejected, and books he had published went out of print. At various times he worked as a truck driver for the U.S. Forest Service, as a newspaper reporter, as a social worker on Skid Row, Los Angeles, as a land surveyor in Colorado, in the Louisiana State unemployment system, and in the Job Corps in the Daniel Boone National Forest in Eastern Kentucky. He taught at five different colleges before getting on the tenure track teaching creative writing at Wichita State University during the 1980s.

Personal life

Burke and his wife, Pearl (née Pai Chu), own a home in Lolo, Montana. The couple has four children, including Alafair, a Professor of Law and a prominent crime writer.


  • 1988: Burke was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Arts in Fiction. Burke received the 2002 Louisiana Writer Award for his enduring contribution to the "literary intellectual heritage of Louisiana." The award was presented by then-Lieutenant-Governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, on November 2, 2002, at a ceremony held at the inaugural Louisiana Book Festival in Baton Rouge, LA.
  • Burke has been recognized three times by the Mystery Writers of America (MWA).
  • 2009: Burke received the MWA's Grand Master Award. It is rare for a mystery novelist to win both an Edgar Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
  • References

    James Lee Burke Wikipedia