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.
A subtle, impeccably rendered new novel from one of America's most distinctive writers.A woman and her young son are traveling together by car through the southern and midwestern United States in the mid-to-late 1950s. As the mother drives, she and the boy, Roy, talk about their lives, their disappointments, and their dreams. "Wyoming" exists…
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.
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