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Synopses & Reviews
A masterpiece of mood and setting, character and remembrance, The Cuban Club is Barry Gifford’s ultimate coming-of-age story told as sixty-seven linked tales, a creation myth of the Fall as seen through the eyes of an innocent child on the cusp of becoming an innocent man.
Set in Chicago in the 1950s and early 1960s against the backdrop of small-time hoodlums in the Chicago mob and the girls and women attached to them, there is the nearness of heinous crimes, and the price to be paid for them. To Roy and his friends, these twists and tragedies drift by like curious flotsam. The tales themselves are koan-like, often ending in questions, with rarely a conclusion. The story that closes the book is in the form of a letter from Roy to his father four years after his father’s death, but written as if he were still alive. Indeed, throughout The Cuban Club Roy is still in some doubt whether divorce or even death really exists in a world where everything seems so alive and connected.
“What Gifford does with just a few pages is nothing short of magical. These very short stories straddle innocence and experience, good and evil. His tales are always dense with information, yet register with dreamlike intensity and have the resonance of an epiphany.” Jim Ruland, author of Forest of Fortune
“River Woods,” a new short story excerpted from Gifford’s forthcoming book The Cuban Club to be published October 2017.
Barry Gifford will appear this Wednesday Nov. 30th, along with Willem Dafoe and director Oscar Bucher at the NY premiere of the film Nelson Algren Live at the Metrograph theatre. http://metrograph.com/film/film/552/nelson-algren-live
The evening of December 6th, he’ll be reading at McNally Jackson Books on Spring Street in Manhattan for the paperback release of The Up-Down.
And on Dec 8th at the Brooklyn public library he’ll be reading with the writers Paul Auster, Don Delillo, and others at the 20th anniversary celebration of Seven Stories Press.
“Barry Gifford’s newest poetry collection captures the disarray of a life lived with passion and in many places. Gifford ponders serendipitous acquaintances, mourns the deaths of friends and squandered relationships, and writes love-filled notes to his daughter and granddaughter. New York, 1960 is an evocative collection from an enduring voice.”
Check out Barry Gifford in person at the one-night-only staged reading of his play “Do the Blind Dream?” in New York City on June 8th.
Visit BlackLodgeTheater.org to buy tickets.