Matteo Pericoli's windows on the world / Elmore Leonard, Detroit
The view from Elmore Leonard's writing desk. Illustration: Matteo Pericoli
Matteo Pericoli's windows on the world: Elmore Leonard, Detroit
In the last of our series in which artist Matteo Pericoli illustrates the views from leading writers' windows, we look out on to Elmore Leonard's garden in Detroit
The Observer, Sunday 8 January 2012
I sit here, in a suburb of Detroit, writing books by hand on yellow unlined pads with a view from my desk that offers distractions: Disney creatures on the patio, squirrels that come up for a handout and go nuts when I offer pistachios. Once I looked up from my work and a coyote was staring at me from the hedge a dozen feet away, though not with much interest. The squirrels know he's there and stay hidden and the coyote wanders off, hoping to find a little dog in another yard. Several times I've seen a hawk, claws wrapped around the limb of an apple tree, waiting for prey who somehow know better than to reveal themselves. Distractions are good when I'm stuck in whatever it is I'm writing or have reached the point of overwriting. The hawk flies off, the squirrels begin to venture out, cautious at first, and I return to the yellow pad, my mind cleared of unnecessary words.