5 December 2013 3:13 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

He’s been called “the poet of the Ozarks” and “the most overlooked great novelist in America.” But Daniel Woodrell has found many more readers since his country-noir novel “Winter’s Bone” became a best picture-nominated film that turned its lead actress, Jennifer Lawrence, into a movie star.

He seems destined to be ranked alongside his own inspirations, James M. Cain, Dashiell Hammett and William Kennedy, as a “crime writer” whose tales transcend genre labels. The economy of his prose, along with startling turns of phrase that seem like pure poetry, have made him a writer’s writer.

But there was a time when Woodrell felt he was aping his heroes too closely. “You have to imitate somebody and an awful lot of the basic architecture and bones and everything in my paragraphs I probably picked up from Hemingway,” he says. Kennedy, too, Woodrell says, “just ran away with me »

- David S. Cohen

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