Neely Tucker writes nonfiction by day at the The Washington Post, where he has been a staff writer for sixteen years, and is currently assigned to cover the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. He writes fiction by night at his house, where it isn’t frowned upon to have a friendly glass of bourbon by the keyboard.
A seventh-generation Mississippian, he was born in Holmes County, then the poorest county in the poorest state in America. The first newspaper to hire him was the Oxford Eagle, the smallest daily in the state (and possibly the universe). They gave him the much envied job title of “Yalobusha County Correspondent.” He has since worked in more than sixty countries or territories, covering civil wars or violent uprisings in Bosnia, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Uganda, Sierra Leone and Liberia, as well as the U.S. Embassy bombing in Kenya. This work inspired crime novelist Elmore Leonard, a longtime friend, to use him as the basis and namesake for a foreign correspondent in “Cuba Libre.”
His memoir, Love in the Driest Season, was named one of the best 25 Books of 2004 by Publisher’s Weekly, the American Bookseller’s Association, the New York City Library and won numerous other awards. “Life After Death,” a story about his wife’s seven-year odyssey to help convict her daughter’s killer, was nominated by the Post for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize.
“The Ways of the Dead,” “Murder, D.C.,” and “Only the Hunted Run,” the first novels in the Sully Carter series, have earned glowing praise, with Kirkus saying that “There’s no more satisfying sight than a writer who knows exactly what he’s doing — and only gets better at what he does.”
He lives with his wife, three children and one Rottweiler just outside Washington. When not writing, Neely is usually on his motorcycle, out for a long run or sipping some of the aforementioned bourbon on the back porch, wishing that Mississippi State and the New Orleans Saints would win more football games than they actually do.