James Ellroy (born March 4, 1948) is an American crime fiction writer and essayist. Ellroy has become known for a so-called "telegraphic" prose style in his most recent work, wherein he frequently omits connecting words and uses only short, staccato sentences, and in particular for the novels The Black Dahlia (1987), The Big Nowhere (1988), L.A. Confidential (1990), White Jazz (1992), American Tabloid (1995), The Cold Six Thousand (2001), and Blood's a Rover (2009).
Ellroy was born Lee Earle Ellroy in Los Angeles, California, the son of Geneva Odelia (née Hilliker) Ellroy, a nurse, and Armand Ellroy, an accountant and, according to Ellroy, onetime business manager of Rita Hayworth. After his parents' divorce, Ellroy and his mother relocated to El Monte, California. In 1958, Ellroy's mother was murdered. The police never found the perpetrator, and the case remains unsolved. The murder, along with reading The Badge by Jack Webb (a book composed of sensational cases from the files of the Los Angeles Police Department, a birthday gift from his father), were important events of Ellroy's youth.
Ellroy's inability to come to terms with the emotions surrounding his mother's murder led him...