“Writing, basically breaks down to relationships between people and that is what you write about.” – Leon Uris
Born this day in 1924, Uris started reading at age 3, writing by 4 and writing creatively by age 8. But it wasn’t until after he came out of World War II (he enlisted at age 17 and spent 4 years in the service) that he started his successful career, first writing for newspapers and then doing short stories before writing Battle Cry in 1951. Known for his historical fiction and the deep research that went into his novels, he wrote 20 novels and many nonfiction works.
Both Exodus and Trinity (the first work that really helped me understand what was going on in Northern Ireland) were mega-bestsellers, and many, many more were on the New York Times Bestsellers List. Also a screenwriter, he had three of his books – Battle Cry, Exodus and The Haj – made into successful movies.
Uris wrote continuously for 50 years until he was struck down by kidney failure in 2003. He said he always was proud that the work he wrote in 1950 was just as much read as that written 30 or 40 years later. “You can try to reach an audience, but you just write what comes out of you and hope that it is accepted,” he said. “You do not – and should not – write specifically to a generation.”
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