- Est-ce qu'il neige dans le Wyoming ? - Oh oui ! Il y neige des tonnes.
Il peut même y faire très froid. - Toy aurait aimé. - J'en suis certaine. - Maman, tu nous emmènes là-bas ? - Tu veux dire maintenant ? - Oui, maintenant. C'est loin ? - Très loin. Nous sommes presque en Géorgie. - Bon. Mais on pourra y aller un jour, au Wyoming? - Bien sûr, Roy, c'est promis. - On ne dira rien à personne, hein, maman ? - Non, chéri, personne ne saura où nous serons. - Et on aura un chien.
- Pourquoi pas. - A partir de maintenant, chaque fois que ça ira mal, je penserai au Wyoming. Je m'imaginerai en train de courir avec mon chien. - C'est une bonne idée, bébé. Tout le monde a besoin du Wyoming.
Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer, and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him--whether to support him or to drag him under--is the adult world of postwar Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty, and the redeeming power of imagination. Here are charlatans, operators, alien abductees, schoolyard nudists, and fast girls with only months to live. At the center of it all is a boy learning to navigate the compromises, disillusionments and regrets that come with the territory of living. Mixing memoir and invention, the forty-one short stories in Barry Gifford's first book for young adults bring a city--and a boy's growing consciousness--to vivid, unflinching life.
A world of poems as populous and diverse as it is ephemeral and evanescent, born of the world and of books and art in equal measure, yielding granite truths and feather truths of people's roller-coaster lives. The poet looks back, facing life and death and everything in between with equanimity, holding a steady hand to the quivering breast wherever there is breath.
Published in The New Yorker, La Nouvelle Revue Française, and in nearly a hundred magazines and poetry journals from Los Angeles to Tokyo, from Lawrence, Kansas to Rome, Madrid, Paris, London, Beijing, and Bucharest, poems by Barry Gifford have been describing and changing our world for nearly half a century. Here in one volume for the first time is the poet's own choices from his nine previous collections, as well as a rich selection of new poems. Imagining Paradise sums up the tremendous achievement of an underground poet who lasted.
Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Ernest Hemingway's Nick Adams stories, Memories from a Sinking Ship travels the landscape of a turbulent world seen through a boy';s steady gaze. Like Twain';s Mississippi River and Hemingway';s Big Two-Hearted, Gifford';s Chicago, New Orleans, and the highways and byways between offer us mesmerizing lives lost in the kaleidoscope of postwar America, in particular those of Roy';s adrift and disappointed mother and his hoodlum father.
The Imagination of the Heart is the final chapter in the saga of Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune, the "Romeo and Juliet of the Deep South." Their story began in Barry Gifford's novel Wild at Heart, which in 1990 was made into a Palme d'Or-winning feature film by David Lynch. Following Sailor';s death at the age of sixty-five in New Orleans, Lula moved back to her home state of North Carolina. This novel begins fifteen years later when Lula, at age eighty, decides to write a memoir in diary form, reflecting on her life with Sailor while also keeping a journal describing her last road trip: a journey with Beany Thorn, her best friend since childhood, back to New Orleans.
Like a contemporary book of Revelations, dutifully recorded by Lula as a dialogue between self and soul, it becomes a bittersweet, often dangerous journey into the imagination of the heart, and what may lie beyond.
Also included in this edition is "The Truth is in the Work," a conversation between Barry Gifford and Noel King which delves into a range of topics, from Gifford';s early publishing experiences to his film projects and to professional sports.
Revolution is simmering in the heat of battered Central American town Port Tropique, where protagonist Franz Hall is an "intellectual Meursault in a paranoid Hemingway landscape, a self-conscious Conradian adventurer, a Lord Jim in the earliest stages of selfwilled failure" (New York Times). The ineffectual hero spends his days drinking and observing people in the zócalo, and occasional nights involved in an ivory-smuggling operation threatened by impending government siege. Always persistent are memories of Marie and what was lost. In this sinuous narrative of dislocation and remorse, Barry Gifford details Franz';s mundanity and the bizarre cast of characters swirling around him.
American Falls is the first major collection of short stories from Barry Gifford, master of the dark side of the American reality. These stories range widely in style and period, from the 1950s to the present, from absurdist exercises to romantic tales, from stories about childhood innocence to novellas of murder and revenge.
In the title story, a Japanese-American motel operator chooses not give up a total stranger, a black man wanted for murder, when the police come searching for him. In "Room 584, The Starr Hotel," a man rants his outrage at an amorous couple in the room next door before he himself is arrested for having committed multiple murders. "The Unspoken" recounts the confessions of a man without a mouth who tells about the woman who loved him. And in this collection';s longest fiction, a novella called "The Lonely and the Lost," a small town';s talented and colorful inhabitants solve their problems as best they can until it comes time for the devil to reap what they have sown.
Dark and light intermix in masterful chiaroscuro, dark becoming light, light revealing sinister or brooding complexity. No simple endings, only happy beginnings.
On the twentieth anniversary of the publication of Barry Gifford's international bestseller, Wild at Heart, as well as the anniversary of the Palme d'Or-winning film adaptation by director David Lynch, Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels presents all of the novels and novellas that comprise the saga of Sailor Ripley and Lula Pace Fortune, "the Romeo and Juliet of the South": Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango (also made into a feature film), Sailor';s Holiday, Sultans of Africa, Consuelo';s Kiss, Bad Day for the Leopard Man, and The Imagination of the Heart.
Do the Blind Dream? shows Gifford at the height of his powers, navigating with ease the new, more fragmented imaginative landscape of morning-after America. Gifford seems to have anticipated themes that suddenly are recognizable everywhere: the fragility of identity; the power of coincidence; the illusion of a secure tomorrow.
In contrast to his often nightmarish, satirical, groundbreaking novels of the 1990s--Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango, and Night People among them--Do the Blind Dream? continues in the tender and deeply introspective vein revealed in two recent works: Giffords memoir The Phantom Father (named a New York Times Notable Book), and the award-winning novella Wyoming. From the intimate, stylistically daring examination of the darkest secrets in the history of an Italian family, to the terrible but often beautiful fears and discoveries of childhood, to the sardonic, desperate confusion of adult life, Do the Blind Dream? reveals an exceptionally versatile, highly tuned sensibility.
From the Hardcover edition.
Barry Gifford has been writing gritty, American tales for the past forty years. His novels, stories, poetry, and films have helped shape the American neo-noir genre. The New York Times Book Review says that he, "can sum up in a few words the cruelty, horror, and crushing banality that shape an entire life.
Andrei Codrescu calls Gifford a great comic realist, while Pedro Almodóvar likens him to the surrealist filmmaker Luis Buñuel, and Jonathan Lethem describes his style as William Faulkner by way of B-movie film noir, porn paperbacks, and Sun Records rockabilly.
In The Roy Stories Gifford brings his signature style to a collection of tales following the character of Roy, who has made appearances in a number of Giffords previous story collections. Roy lives a mystical kind of life, skinning crocodiles in Southern Florida at age nine in the 1940s and playing in the back alleys of Chicago in the 1950s. This deep-feeling boy observes every detail in his surroundings with a sense of dark humor and an openness that will clutch readers tightly by the heart and lead them on a historical journey.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
A novel of violence, of love, and introspection, The Up-Down follows a man who leaves home and all thats familiar, finds true love, loses it, and finds it again. Paces voyage is outward, among strangers, and inward into the fifth direction that is the up-down, in a sweeping, voracious human tale that takes no prisoners, witnesses extreme brutalities and expresses a childlike amazement. Here the route goes from New Orleans, to Chicago to Wyoming to Bay St. Clement, North Carolina, but the geography he is charting is always first and foremost unchartable.
From the Hardcover edition.
In Writers, great American storyteller Barry Gifford paints portraits of famous writers caught in imaginary vulnerable moments in their lives. In prose that is funny, grotesque, and a touch brutal, Gifford shows these writers at their most human, which is to say at their worst: they are liars, frauds, lousy lovers, and drunks. This is a world in which Ernest Hemingway drunkenly sets explosive trip wires outside his home in Cuba, Marcel Proust implores the angel of death as a delirious Arthur Rimbaud lies dying in a hospital bed, and Albert Camus converses with a young prostitute while staring at himself in the mirror of a New York City hotel room. In Gifford's house of mirrors, we are offered a unique perspective on this group of literary greats. We see their obsessions loom large, and none more than a shared needling preoccupation with mortality. And yet these stories, which are meant to be performed as plays, are also tender and thoughtful exercises in empathy. Gifford asks: What does it means to devote oneself entirely to art? And as an artist, what defines success and failure? From the Hardcover edition.
"Everything I have to say about race and religion and politics is in the novels," declares Barry Gifford. The Rooster Trapped in the Reptile Room gathers generous portions of all thirteen novels and novellas, as well as first-person essays, generous helpings of poetry, journalism, and a new interview with the author. The broad contours of an episodic output emerge--a full-length view of the freaks and freakish incidents that populate Gifford's unique human comedy. A world, as Lula, the author's favorite of all his characters, reflects, "wild at heart and weird on top." The Rooster Trapped in the Reptile Room provides essential reading for anyone after the soul of American writing.
The Sinaloa Story tells of DelRay Mudo and Ava Varazo, two downandouts looking for a reasonable life and maybe even a little redemption in a corrupt and violent world. Ava is a Mexican prostitute, beautiful and no victim of circumstance. When DelRay falls in love with her at the drivein whorehouse where she is the prize, she seizes the chance to break free. They take off for Sinaloa ,Texas, the lonedog state where "nothin good ever happens." The farout border flunkies they meet Thankful Priest, the oneeyed former football player; Indio Desacato, Avas pimp and a smalltown racketeer; Arkadelphia Quantrill Smith, an octogenarian whose father marched with Shelby in the Iron Brigade; and many others fill out the sinister and electrifying ride.
Sailor, vingt-trois ans, vient de purger deux ans dans un pénitencier pour meurtre au deuxième degré. Lula, vingt ans, l'attend à la sortie. Mais la mère de Lula, Marietta, a interdit a sa fille de revoir Sailor. Les deux jeunes gens prennent alors la route. Marietta lance a leurs trousses un étrange détective privé, Johnnie Farragut. La cavale de Sailor et Lula à travers le sud des États-Unis fera dire à la jeune fille que le monde a vraiment le coeur sauvage. Barry Gifford est un styliste à la manière de McGuane, avec le coeur de Raymond Carver. (Jim Harrison) Comme Jim Harrison, Thomas McGuane ou Richard Ford, Gifford a le sens des dialogues. Des phrases cinglantes qui vous jettent à la figure la rumeur du monde, sa détresse et ses joies fugitives. Les personnages de Gifford ne possèdent rien. Rien sauf le blues. (Bernard Geniès, Le Nouvel Observateur) Sailor et Lula, porte à l'écran par David Lynch, a remporté la Palme d'Or au Festival de Cannes 1990.