Leonard Gardner is the author of the classic American novel Fat City (1969), set in the gritty world of Stockton, California, where Gardner was born. The book was made into a movie directed by John Huston, who considered it among his own finest achievements. Gardner adapted his short story “Jesus Christ Has Returned to Earth and Preaches Here Nightly” into the screenplay for the 1989 film Valentino Returns. He has written teleplays for NYPD Blue, for which he was a writer/producer. Gardner lives in Marin County.