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With latest trilogy San Diego-based best selling author Don Winslow announces retirement

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Eduardo Munoz Alvarez
Harper Collins
San Diego-based best selling author Don Winslow in an undated photo.

San Diego-based author Don Winslow has used the San Diego-Tijuana border locale as the backdrop for some of his most famous crime novels. Books like "Savages" and the Cartel trilogy have gained both critical and popular success. Now, after plumbing the depths of Mexican cartels in his novels, Winslow has moved to an exploration of East Coast Mafia wars. The first book in a trilogy, which was published on Tuesday, is called, "City on Fire."

It’s a book that has already sparked praise as well as controversy for its subject matter and language. Winslow uses an offensive racial slur in the book, which may surprise some because he has used his Twitter account to criticize the celebrities host Joe Rogan for his past use of racial slurs.


"They're not words that I would ever use myself in speaking to or about anybody, but if I'm going to write about racial attitudes and racism, I'm going to use racial words that are accurate to the people who are thinking them and speaking them," Winslow said.

As a white author, Winslow said he does feel responsibility for how racial slurs in his books may trigger painful associations for his readers, but he said he also feels responsibility to portray racism accurately.

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Harper Collins Publishing
The cover of the newly published book, "City on Fire" by San Diego-based best-selling author Don Winslow is pictured.

The publication of "City on Fire" also led to a surprising announcement from Winslow — one of the most celebrated crime novelists in the country: He’s retiring from writing.

In an interview that aired on CBS Saturday Morning, Winslow said he'd no longer be writing for a living and instead would be working to help the Democratic Party through political activism.


"I'm going to create a series of political videos that hit hard, create change and help win key races across the country,” Winslow said in a statement on Twitter.

Winslow joined Midday Edition on Tuesday to talk about his book and political activism.

Don Winslow will launch his new novel, "City on Fire" at the downtown Central Library on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. For ticket information and details go here.