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Andrew Klavan

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Andrew Klavan (born 1954) is an American author and screenwriter of "tough-guy" mysteries and psychological thrillers. Two of Klavan's books have been adapted into motion pictures: True Crime (1999) and Don't Say A Word (2001). He has been nominated for the Edgar Award four times and has won twice. Playwright and novelist Laurence Klavan is his brother.[1]

Early life

Klavan was born in New York City. His father was Gene Klavan, a New York City disk jockey and one-half of the radio show "Klavan and Finch."[2] He grew up on Long Island with his three brothers.[1] He was raised in the Jewish tradition by his parents, but he did not believe in any of the tenets of the faith and later said that he felt "dishonesty" and "shame" pretending to do so. He became an agnostic shortly after his Bar mitzvah. He later converted to Christianity.[3]

He attended the University of California, Berkeley, where he met his future wife, Ellen Flanagan. He dropped out of school temporarily to work in local radio news. He then worked as a reporter for a small Putnam County, New York newspaper, as a reader for Columbia Pictures, and as a newswriter for both WOR Radio and the ABC Radio Network.[1] At this time, he self-identified as a political liberal while opposing some policies, such as affirmative action.[3]


Klavan wrote his first novel, Face of the Earth, in 1977. He then moved to Putnam County, New York, where he worked as a reporter for a local newspaper. His experience covering local crime later formed the basis for his novel Corruption.

After Face of the Earth was published, Klavan returned to New York, where he took a series of jobs (as a script reader for Columbia Pictures and a news writer for WOR Radio and ABC Radio Networks) while writing mysteries and freelance book reviews. During this time he wrote The Scarred Man using the pseudonym Keith Peterson. Klavan's book, The Rain, won an Edgar Award for Best Original Paperback.

He also began to write supernatural thrillers, publishing such novels as The Animal Hour, Don't Say A Word — which was also nominated for an Edgar — and Corruption, and wrote the screenplay for the film version of Simon Brett's novel A Shock to the System.

Klavan and his family then moved to London, where he wrote True Crime, and two other novels. After seven years, he moved back to the United States, settling in Santa Barbara, California, where Klavan completed the novel Man and Wife (currently in motion picture development),[1] and wrote his Weiss/Bishop trilogy: Dynamite Road, Shotgun Alley, and Damnation Street.

In 2008, he released a war-on-terror political novel, Empire of Lies. In 2009, he published The Last Thing I Remember, a thriller aimed at young adults.

Political philosophy

Identifying himself as a political conservative, Klavan has expressed the view that "rightists" are the victims of discrimination in Hollywood.[4] In his view, people in the American arts are not fulfilling their inherent role of 'speaking truth to power' since they are not willing to criticize those of the political left in power.[3] In July 2008, he likened George W. Bush to Batman in The Dark Knight, starting with their public vilification.[5] The article set off a firestorm of criticism.[3]

Klavan has said,

"Every single one of our soldiers signed up or re-signed up after 9 - 11. The term, the longest one was 6 years, so every single one signed up after 9 - 11, every single one knew where he was going, what was going to happen to him, and has an idea of why it's the right thing to do. Those guys cannot appear in the movies. And you know, it wouldn't bother me so much, the movies that Hollywood makes never bother me so much as the movies they don't make. If there were 8 films attacking our troops, I would still despise them for making them during war time. But if there were 8 films supporting our troops, I know that those films would win out with the audience and I know their arguments would be better and I know the depiction of life would be more realistic."[3]</blockquote>


  • Face of the Earth (1980)
  • Agnes Mallory (1985)
  • Mrs. White (1987) (as Margaret Tracy, with Laurence Klavan)
  • There Fell A Shadow (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • The Rain (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Darling Clementine (1988)
  • The Trap Door (1988) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Son of Man (1988)
  • The Scarred Man (1989) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Rough Justice (1989) (as Keith Peterson)
  • Don't Say a Word (1991)
  • The Animal Hour (1992)
  • Corruption (1993)
  • True Crime (1995)
  • Suicide (1995)
  • The Uncanny (1998)
  • Hunting Down Amanda (1999)
  • Man and Wife (2001)
  • Dynamite Road (2003)
  • Shotgun Alley (2004)
  • Damnation Street (2006)
  • Empire of Lies (2008)
  • The Homelanders: The Last Thing I Remember (2009)
  • The Homelanders: The Long Way Home (2010)



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Biography. By M. Wallace. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  2. Gene Klavan, Radio Show Host, Dies at 79. By Douglas Martin. The New York Times. Published April 9, 2004.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 The World According to Andrew Klavan. Uncommon Knowledge. Filmed on August 28, 2008. Retrieved July 6, 2009.
  4. "Why Are We Whispering?" Washington Post. Published August 8, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
  5. "What Bush And Batman Have In Common". Wall Street Journal. Published July 25, 2008. Retrieved July 7, 2009.

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