• Birth—August 4, 1965
• Where—Dorchester, Massachusetts, USA
• Education—B.A., Eckerd College; M.F.A., Florida International University
• Awards—Shamus Award, Best First Novel; Anthony Award; Dilys Award
• Currently—lives in Boston, Massachusetts
Dennis Lehane is an American author. He has written several award-winning novels, including A Drink Before the War and the New York Times bestseller Mystic River, which was later made into an Academy Award-winning film.
Another novel, Gone, Baby, Gone, was also adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film. His novel Shutter Island was adapted into a film by Martin Scorsese in 2010. Lehane is a graduate of Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
Lehane was born and reared in the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts, and continues to live in the Boston area, which provides the setting for most of his books. He spent summers on Fieldston Beach in Marshfield. Lehane is the youngest of five children. His father was a foreman for Sears & Roebuck, and his mother worked in a Boston public school cafeteria. Both of his parents emigrated from Ireland. His brother, Gerry Lehane, who is two and a half years older than Dennis, is a veteran actor who trained at the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence before heading to New York in 1990. Gerry is currently a member of the Invisible City Theatre Company.
He was previously married to Sheila Lawn, formerly an advocate for the elderly for the city of Boston but now working with the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office as an Assistant District Attorney. Currently, he is married to Dr. Angela Bernardo, with whom he has one daughter.
He is a graduate of Boston College High School (a Boston Jesuit prep school), Eckerd College (where he found his passion for writing), and the graduate program in creative writing at Florida International University in Miami, Florida. He occasionally makes guest appearances as himself in the ABC comedy/drama TV series Castle.
His first book, A Drink Before the War, which introduced the recurring characters Patrick Kenzie and Angela Gennaro, won the 1995 Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel. The fourth book in the series, Gone, Baby, Gone, was adapted to a film of the same title in 2007; it was directed by Ben Affleck and starred Casey Affleck and Michelle Monaghan as Kenzie and Gennaro. Reportedly, Lehane "has never wanted to write the screenplays for the films [based on his own books], because he says he has 'no desire to operate on my own child.'"
Lehane's Mystic River was made into a film in 2003; directed by Clint Eastwood, it starred Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, and Kevin Bacon. The novel itself was a finalist for the PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction, and France's Prix Mystère de la Critique.
Lehane's first play, Coronado, debuted in New York in December 2005. Coronado is based on his acclaimed short story "Until Gwen," which was originally published in The Atlantic Monthly and was selected for both The Best American Short Stories and The Best Mystery Short Stories of 2005.
Lehane described working on his historical novel, The Given Day, as "a five- or six-year project" with the novel beginning in 1918 and encompassing the 1919 Boston Police Strike and its aftermath. The novel was published in October, 2008.
On October 22, 2007 Paramount Pictures announced that they had optioned Shutter Island with Martin Scorsese attached as director. The Laeta Kalogridis-scripted adaptation has Leonardo DiCaprio playing U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels, "who is investigating the disappearance of a murderess who escaped from a hospital for the criminally insane and is presumed to be hiding on the remote Shutter Island." Mark Ruffalo played opposite DiCaprio as U.S. Marshal Chuck Aule. Shutter Island was released on February 19, 2010.
Since becoming a literary success after the broad appeal of his Kenzie and Gennaro novels, as well as the success of Mystic River, Lehane has taught at several colleges. He taught fiction writing and serves as a member of the board of directors for a low-residency MFA program sponsored by Pine Manor College in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. He has also been involved with the Solstice Summer Writers' Conference at Boston's Pine Manor College and taught advanced fiction writing at Harvard University, where his classes quickly filled up.
In May 2005, Lehane was presented with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Eckerd College and was appointed to Eckerd's Board of Trustees later that year. In Spring 2009, Lehane became a Joseph E. Connor Award recipient and honorary brother of Phi Alpha Tau professional fraternity at Emerson College in Boston, MA. Other brothers and Connor Award recipients include Robert Frost, Elia Kazan, Jack Lemmon, Red Skelton, Edward R. Murrow, Yul Brynner, and Walter Cronkite. Also in Spring 2009, Lehane presented the commencement speech at Emmanuel College in Boston, Massachusetts, and was awarded an honorary degree.
Lehane wrote and directed an independent film called Neighborhoods in the mid 1990s. He joined the writing staff of the HBO drama series The Wire in 2004. Lehane returned as a writer for the fourth season in 2006 Lehane and the writing staff won the Writers Guild of America (WGA) Award for Best Dramatic Series at the February 2008 ceremony and the 2007 Edgar Award for Best Television Feature/Mini-Series Teleplay for their work on the fourth season. Lehane remained a writer for the fifth and final season in 2008. Lehane and the writing staff were nominated for the WGA Award award for Best Dramatic Series again at the February 2009 ceremony.He served as an executive producer for Shutter Island. (Adapted from Wikipedia.)
The Kenzie-Gennaro Novels
1994 - A Drink Before the War
1996 - Darkness, Take My Hand
1997 - Sacred
1998 - Gone, Baby, Gone
1999 - Prayers for Rain
2010 - Moonlight Mile
Joe Coughlin Novels
2008 - The Given Day
2012 - Live by Night
2015 - World Gone By
2001 - Mystic River
2003 - Shutter Island
2006 - Coronado
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