David Black

Biography

David Black is an award-winning journalist, novelist, screenwriter, and producer. His novel Like Father was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times and listed as one of the seven best novels of the year by the Washington Post. The King of Fifth Avenue was named a notable book of the year by the New York Times, New York Magazine, and the A.P.

Mr. Black received the Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination from the Mystery Writers of America for best fact crime book for Murder at the Met. His second Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination was for "Happily Ever After," an episode of Law & Order. His third Edgar Allan Poe Award nomination was for "Carrier," also an episode of Law & Order.

He won the Writers’ Guild of America Award for The Confession. He was also nominated for the Writers’ Guild of America Award for an episode of Hill Street Blues. He received an American Bar Association Certificate of Merit for "Nullification," a controversial episode of Law & Order about Militia groups, which the Los Angeles Times called an example of "the new Golden Age of television."

He has received a National Endowment of the Arts grant in fiction, Playboy’s Best Article of the Year Award, Best Essays of the Year 1986 Honorable Mention, Forward’s Book of the Year Special Mention, and an Atlantic Monthly "First" award for fiction. He has also received a Pulitzer Prize nomination for The Plague Years, a book based on a two-part series that he wrote for Rolling Stone and that won a National Magazine Award in Reporting and the National Science Writers Award.

Researching articles, David Black has risked his life a number of times, including being put under house arrest by Baby Doc's secret police in Haiti, infiltrating totalitarian therapy cults, being abandoned on a desert island, and exposing a white slave organization in the East Village.

Among the television shows he has produced and written are the Sidney Lumet series 100 Centre Street, which was listed as one of the 10 best shows of the year, the Richard Dreyfuss series The Education of Max Bickford, Monk, CSI-Miami, the new Kojak, Hill Street Blues, Miami Vice, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Trial By Jury, the original Law & Order, which received an Emmy nomination for Best Dramatic Show and a Golden Globe nomination, and Copshop, an innovative PBS series filmed in one-take, three camera real time. He has also been nominated for the PGA Golden Laurel Award.

His TV movie, Legacy of Lies, starring Eli Wallach and Martin Landau, won the Writers Foundation of America Gold Medal for Excellence in Writing and received an ACE Award for Martin Landau for Best Actor.

His feature, The Confession, starring Alec Baldwin, Ben Kingsley, and Amy Irving was praised in New York by John Leonard and in The Hollywood Reporter, among other places, and was described in Metroland as "an almost miraculous act of storytelling."

His play, An Impossible Life, starred Richard Dreyfuss, Blair Brown, Eli Wallach, and Philip Bosco. He also produced Cardenio, a "lost" play by Shakespeare, reconstructed by Dr. Gary Taylor, the editor of the Oxford Shakespeare, at the Williamstown Theater Festival.

He has published nine books and over 150 articles in magazines, including The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, and Rolling Stone. His new novel, An Impossible Life, has been praised by, among others, Nobel Prize winning author Czeslaw Milosz, Erica Jong, Bruce Jay Friedman, and Leslie Epstein, who called it the best writing about Jewish gangsters since Isaac Babel. Contemporary Authors describes Black as "a versatile, multi-media writer who has distinguished himself in both fiction and non-fiction."

He has appeared on TV and lectured at Harvard, Yale, and the National Constitution Center, among other places. He has taught writing at Lehman College, Mt. Holyoke, Columbia, and Harvard, where he is a scholar-in-residence at Kirkland House. He is a former board member of the Mystery Writers of America, a member of the Century Association, the Williams Club, the Columbia Club, PEN, the Writers’ Guild, the Explorers’ Club, and the Players.

Selected Works

Fiction
The Extinction Event
"I think this is the best thing David Black has ever done!"
--Bill Cosby, Emmy and Grammy Award-winning comedian, actor, author, and activist
An Impossible Life
"Hilarious!"
--Czeslaw Milosz, Noble Prize for Literature, 1980

"A fascinating, richly rewarding book. It’s the very sort of novel Isaac Bashevis Singer might have written if he’d known the Godfather. Or been the Godfather. Or if he'd been David Black."
--Lawrence Block

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