We hope you will join us when Barry Gifford, best known as the author of Wild at Heart who has lived in and written about New Orleans in his novels and stories, comes for and evening at Octavia Books to present and sign the recently released edition of the three novels that constitute his Southern Nights trilogy: Night People, Arise & Walk, and Baby Cat Face. These Southern Gothic novels may be among the weirdest and best of Gifford's novels for their sheer velocity—the copious, raw violence; the invented religions and gods that make people do things; and the way they demonstrate how the horrors somehow cohabit—affably—with the genuine pathos and loveliness of the unforgettable characters that live in these books.
Additionally the program will include Gifford's new expanded edition of the complete Sailor & Lula novels - now including the series’ culminating novel The Up & Down.
"Barry Gifford is a killer fuckin' writer and I have a lot of respect for him. His writing is pure and minimal and it sparks things and gets your imagination going. . . . Barry's got these characters and they're not going to be doctors or lawyers, but they're smart and they live in a kind of subterranean culture, and I really love that world and the things that can happen there. It's wild and free and there's a kind of fearlessness, yet there's also some kind of deep understanding of life."
—David Lynch, in his autobiography Room to Dream
The author of more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into over twenty-five languages, BARRY GIFFORD writes distinctly American stories for readers around the globe. From screenplays and librettos to his acclaimed Sailor and Lula novels, Gifford’s writing is as distinctive as it is difficult to classify. Born in the Seneca Hotel on Chicago’s Near North Side, he relocated in his adolescence to New Orleans. The move proved significant: throughout his career, Gifford’s fiction—part-noir, part-picaresque, always entertaining—is born of the clash between what he has referred to as his “Northern Side” and “Southern Side.” Gifford has been recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, The American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. His novel Wild at Heart was adapted into the 1990 Palme d’Or-winning film of the same name. Gifford lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
God in these Southern Nights is only another possibly deranged near relative, cast in the only nonspeaking part in this human drama. Everyone else talks and talks. And it's the dialogue in these novels that makes them three of Gifford' best, reminders of the author's seemingly unlimited range and versatility, a comic-tragic genius for our time.
"The Romeo and Juliet of the South" are back in this new edition of the internationally best-selling Sailor and Lula novels, now including for the first time the culminating novel, The Up-Down, by American master Barry Gifford.