Landscape with Traveler: The Pillow Book of Francis Reeves is Barry Gifford’s first full-length novel. In print for the first time in fifteen years, Landscape with Traveler is written as the protagonist’s diary—inspired by the first century Japanese writer Sei Shōnagon’s pillow book—and structured as three acclaimed short novels bound into one volume. The book recounts the deep friendship between a middle-aged gay man and a young straight man through vignette-like entries, all the while tracing a history of the US from the 1930s through 1970s.
Laying bare the themes that have marked his lifelong career: a winsome, beat-inspired frenzy of love, a generation-defining crossroads in American history — the novel tells an honest story of a male homosexual life.
“Landscape with Traveler is a novel with character. . . . The tone is so light and airy it achieves its own separate sense of time. . . beautifully refined without sacrificing wit or warmth. It’s a delight.” —The Boston Sunday Globe
“For reminding us so artfully of the difficult simplicities, reminding us of what we already know, [the protagonist] Francis Reeves will become part of our landscape.” —Washington Post Book World
“Landscape with Traveler is a major accomplishment, a small profound novel that will leave the reader utterly affected. . . Barry Gifford has created a small masterpiece.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian