Attention fellow Bainbridgers, Seattleites and Puget Sounders: My good friend, the novelist John Larison, is reading from his new book, Whiskey When We’re Dry, at Elliott Bay Books this Thursday, 7:00pm. This is a rare chance to meet and hear a writer on the brink of superstardom with a book that’s destined for The Big Time. As in big time publisher, big time movie rights already sold, big time–and well deserved–accolades pouring in from the critics.
I was lucky enough to read an early draft of Whiskey When We’re Dry, and I can tell you the story of a teenage girl gunfighter leaps off the pages. One reviewer called it incandescent, and I think that’s about as good a description as I could come up with. But I will try a few more specifics: It’s a literary Western with the luminous, lyrical prose of Cormac McCarthy but without the apocalyptic undertones; a voice as real and singular as Charles Portis’ Mattie in True Grit; the gripping, epic storytelling of Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove. All in one book that’s as true to it’s 19th Century setting as it is relevant to our current world.
As a writer, I’m swallowing my jealousy of Larison’s talent to be there tomorrow night. As a reader, I’m stoked to hear the words from the man who put them together so beautifully. And as friend, well, I’m just looking forward to a bit of hang time with a good buddy. Meet you there!
One of the best parts of a book tour is visiting with good friends. The Portland book event was fantastic–full house, great food and beer, and what I thought was a pretty challenging (at least for me) conversation with my buddy John Larison. Huge thanks to Leila and crew at Patagonia Portland, and all the friends and readers who showed up on a stormy night. Portlanders are not deterred by a little wind and rain!
The pictures here, as you can see, are not from the reading. In all the chaos, I somehow forgot to even snap a single shot. Perhaps these are more interesting, anyway. I spent the day of the reading on a North Coast river with Kate, Crump and Annie hanging out in the pouring rain, watching the river rise, and hooking a fish or two along the way. Then I had to white knuckle it through 50 kt winds, falling trees and Portland traffic to make it to the event on time.
Afterward, our crew shambled around Portland, eventually finding awesome late-night drinks and Vietnamese food at Luc Lac. Lots of fish and book talk, and then Larison and I stayed up most of the night with, yes, more fish and book talk. But when I closed my eyes to sleep, the picture below is what floated through my head. Huge thanks to JL and KT for making the time and being there. Love you guys.
Just a quick reminder about upcoming book tour events. I will be at the Portland Patagonia store Wednesday, March 9th, “in conversation with” my good friend, novelist John Larison. Doors open at 7:00pm, and we’ll start talking about Closer to the Ground, kids, foraging and food at 7:45. At some point, I will read some stories from the book as well. Snacks from Patagonia Provisions. Join us if you can.
And if you don’t know him or his work, Larison is brilliant. He’s the author of Northwest of Normal and Holding Lies, not to mention an incredible new novel (It’s going to be huge!) due out next year. He’s also a hell of a nice guy, an amazing angler, hunter, forager and father, and one of the main forces behind my writing of the book in the first place. His work and life continue to inspire me, and I’m honored to appear with him. I think you’ll really enjoy meeting him.
I will post more specifics as the dates come closer, but here are a few more: I will be at Patagonia San Francisco at 7:00pm, March 16th; Patagonia Seattle, 7:00pm April 12th (with yet another great writer and friend, Bruce Barcott, author of The Measure of a Mountain, The Last Flight of the Scarlet Macaw, and most recently, Weed the People); Patagonia Vancouver (BC), 7:00pm April 27th; and Patagonia Upper West Side, New York City, 7:00pm, May 18th (with New Yorker Cover artist, Adrian Tomine, who in addition to being my brother, is the author/illustrator of Summer Blonde, Shortcomings, and the recent and highly acclaimed Killing and Dying). I think these events are going to be a lot of fun.
A quick view from the “stage” at Georgetown Brewery last week, where a sold-out house packed in to enjoy the awesome beer, eat fantastic food (courtesy of Kevin Davis and the Steelhead Diner) and listen to Jack Berryman, Cameron Scott, John Larison and me read. That’s Jason Rolfe (Writers on the Fly founder) revving up the crowd for Larison’s (back of the head, foreground) beautiful and moving performance.
What an evening! The other readers flat-out blew me away with their work, and it was uplifting to feel the vibe of support–for the readers, and for wild steelhead conservation. Huge thanks to G-Town Brewing, Kevin Davis, Jason Rolfe, Dave McCoy, my fellow readers, and everyone who came out to make it a great event. It was a hell of a party.
The highlight for me, though, was the opportunity to hang out with my good friend Larison. Awesome guy and incredible writer, steelhead angler, hunter and father. Big inspiration for me. Watch out for his new novel–it’s going to be HUGE–and well-deserved mainstream literary recognition in the coming year. I’m just happy us fish people had him to ourselves this night.
The last few weeks have been a mad scramble for me, with work deadlines, kids playing two sports each, and trying to use any spare moments (Ha! He said “spare moments.”) to work on a new book. All great stuff, just a lot of it. So not much fishing, foraging or food to report today.
But I did want to post this flyer: John Larison (in a rare Seattle appearance), Cameron Scott and I will be reading and talking about fish, fishing, conservation and writing at a fundraiser for Wild Steelhead Coalition. I think it’s going to be an awesome time–details on the poster–and we hope you can join us. Did I mention it’s at the Georgetown Brewery? Tasty beverages and good times guaranteed to roll.