Although Walter Mosley is best known as a detective, or mystery, writer, now that he has penned works outside that genre, he rejects this limiting label. He has written screenplays, plays, short fiction, science fiction, and essays, and as a result of these accomplishments, he considers himself simply a writer. In a 1997 interview, commenting on genre-driven identity, Mosley declared, “If I had to make my whole life writing mysteries, it wouldn’t be as bad as going to work every day, but it would be kind of awful. I’m very interested in a lot of different things. And I’m not interested in being defined by the genre” (Cryer, G11).
Mosley primarily wants to tell the story of the black man’s life in America, employing as many literary styles as he can. He has consistently stated for well over a decade now that he writes about black men, whether the story is told in a blues novel (RL’s Dream), in a coming-of-age novel (Gone Fishiri), or in a science fiction novel (Blue Light). According to Mosley, “Anyone who knows my work and has paid any attention to it knows what to expect. They know there is going to be a black man at the center of this story, and he’s going to be struggling for identity, for redemption, for some kind of comprehension of who he is in a world which doesn’t really care about that. And he has to create the tools to do the job that needs to get done” (Rizzo, Gl). Mosley’s goal, one that he defines unabashedly, has always been not only to feature black male characters but