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U.S. novelist Elmore Leonard hospitalized following stroke

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - U.S. novelist Elmore Leonard, known for gritty crime dramas including "Get Shorty," has been hospitalized in the Detroit area after suffering a stroke last week, the author's longtime researcher said Tuesday.

The 87-year-old crime writer, who is also known for film adaptations of his works "Out of Sight" and "3:10 to Yuma," suffered a stroke on July 29, researcher Gregg Sutter Said.

Sutter said Leonard's condition has steadily improved over the past week. He declined to identify the hospital where Leonard, who lives in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills, is being treated.

Leonard, famous for his gritty cowboys, hardened crooks and laconic cops, won the National Book Foundation's Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.

The ad man-turned-writer has published nearly four-dozen novels, the first of which "The Bounty Hunters" in 1953.

He told Reuters in an interview last year that the award had given him renewed motivation to write.

"I don't have any reason to quit," Leonard said. "I still enjoy writing."

Leonard also serves as an executive producer on FX's Emmy-winning TV crime drama "Justified," which is based on his novels "Pronto," "Riding the Rap" and a short story "Fire in the Hole."

(Reporting by Eric Kelsey; Editing by Piya Sinha-Roy and Cynthia Osterman)

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