Back in America

Back in America

“Barry Gifford has been chronicling the decline of Western Civilization for 25 years; as America goes, so goes Mr. Gifford.”

“Barry Gifford’s pure lyrical self shines in these poems. The flickering lights visible in the swirling noir of his fiction are in the foreground here.”

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French Quarter Fiction

Barry Gifford, the author of Wild at Heart, Night People and the screenplay for David Lynch’s Lost Highway, offers his strongest, most mature collection of poems to date. With spare eloquence he considers such diverse subjects as the light in Vermeer’s masterpieces, an elegy for his friend Allen Ginsberg, a cowboy wino worthy of Homer’s Iliad, and a hauntingly short poem about September 11 that says it all. Gifford’s reflections—romantic and tender but never sentimental—wander from Canada to Mexico, from Cuba to France, from life to death, lust to love. Words such as “You sleep with my soul in your mouth/ When we kiss I can taste it” and “if you can choose, it’s not love” build these pieces to newfound revelations that leave only a yearning for the light that begins with the next page.

“Barry Gifford’s consummate skills give us reflecting images and themes in quick, bright strokes that linger on the retina.”—THE WASHINGTON POST

“Gifford is to America what Marquez was to Colombia: a national magical realist.”—THE TIMES

“Barry Gifford continues to be one of America’s most original writers.” —PLAYBOY

“Some things in life are beyond analysis, and Barry Gifford is one of them.”—BOOKLIST