Daniel Woodrell: Master of Ozark noir


All of us have seen Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout role in Winter’s Bone, but did anyone ever think the movie is based on a novel by Daniel Woodrell? The author of nine widely-acclaimed novels, Woodrell is often referred to as a master of Ozark noir. Woodrell’s gripping narratives and pitch-perfect language transcend genre and style. His most recent is The Maid’s Version. Another famous work is The Death of Sweet Mister, which is highly recommended and has earned appreciation.

Born in 1953 in Springfield, Missouri, Daniel Woodrell left school at 17 to join the Marines, went back at 27 to earn his bachelor’s degree at the University of Kansas, and then graduated from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop.

He began his writing career with Under The Bright Lights (1986), a novel that is loosely categorized as crime fiction. Critics do compare Woodrell to famous authors ranging from Faulkner and Hemingway to Flannery O’Connor and Cormac McCarthy. But Woodrell’s style makes him stand out from the rest and allows critics to rate him at a different level.

Woodrell and his wife who is also the novelist Katie Estill, live in the Ozarks.

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