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May 2 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Seven Stories and City Lights present
celebrating the release of
Southern Nights Trilogy: Night People, Arise and Walk, Baby Cat Face
from Seven Stories Press
Barry Gifford’s three Southern Gothic novels, Night People, Arise and Walk, and Baby Cat-Face, 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 how the horrors somehow cohabit—affably—with the genuine pathos and loveliness of the unforgettable characters that live in these books and the things they say so easily that we’ve never heard anyone say before. 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 make them some of Gifford’s best, reminders of the author’s seemingly unlimited range and versatility, a comic-tragic genius for our time.
As a character in Night People says, “Safety first ain’t never been my motto.”
Barry Gifford is the author of more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into over twenty-five languages. 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.