Award-winning novelist, screenwriter Dennis Lehane to keynote 2016 Annual Dinner

Thursday, Jan. 28, 2016
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Photo courtesy of Gaby Gerster/Diogenes, Zuric.

The Massachusetts Bar Association is pleased to announce that award-winning novelist and screenwriter Dennis Lehane will deliver the keynote address at the Annual Dinner on Thursday, April 28, at the Westin Boston Waterfront.

Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published 12 more novels with William Morrow & Co. that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile and Live by Night. His new novel World Gone By was published in March 2015.

Dennis Lehane's novel, The Drop, was inspired by his earlier short story entitled Animal Rescue. The Drop has also been released as a movie featuring James Gandolfini in his last role, alongside actors Noomi Rapace and Tom Hardy. Lehane was a staff writer on the acclaimed HBO series The Wire and a writer-producer on the fourth season of HBO's Boardwalk Empire. Lehane currently has three dramatic series in development at HBO, Showtime and WGN America.

"Not only is Dennis Lehane an award-winning writer, he is a native son whose career work shows a keen understanding of both Boston and our criminal justice system. More importantly, he is just an incredible storyteller," said MBA President Robert W. Harnais. "We can all look forward to hearing more of his stories as we welcome Mr. Lehane back to Massachusetts for our Annual Dinner -- the signature event on the legal community calendar."

Three of Lehane's novels -- Mystic River; Gone, Baby, Gone; and Shutter Island -- have been adapted into award-winning films. In addition, Mystic River was a finalist for the 2001 PEN/Winship Award and won the Anthony Award and the Barry Award for Best Novel, the Dilys Award from the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association and the Massachusetts Book Award in Fiction from the Massachusetts Center for the Book. His novel, Live By Night, was awarded the 2013 Edgar Award for Best Novel of the Year. Live By Night was also awarded the gold medal for general fiction in the annual Florida Book Awards, and was in the top three of Readers Choice Awards at The House Of Crime and Mystery.

Lehane was born and raised in Dorchester. Before becoming a full-time writer, he worked as a counselor with mentally handicapped and abused children, waited tables, parked cars, drove limos, worked in bookstores and loaded tractor-trailers.