New reviews posted 15 September 2016
Signed copies (personalized on request) of the latest Sallis books are available from The Poisoned Pen bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Section spéciale pour mes lecteurs français Mise à jour 28 décembre, 2014
No Exit Press: Sallis' UK publishers.
Walker Books: Sallis' primary US publishers
Host Publications: publishers of Limits of the Sensible World and Potato Tree
From September 2016: Excellent reviews continue to come in for Willnot. USA Today declared that "[Sallis] might just be one of our greatest living writers." David Rothenberg on WBAI radio asserted that "Willnot is closer to Our Town and Winesberg, Ohio than any output by Michael Connelly or John Sandford, defying genre classification." Marcel Berlins calls Willnot "a beautiful read from a master."
From August 2016: Jim's latest column is up at Fantasy and Science Fiction magazine. Strong reviews continue to come in for Willnot, with Ian Rankin calling it "a slippery, poetic mystery that becomes a love story to small town America."
From June 2016: "This is a novel about what lies just beneath the surface," writes Woody Haut about Willnot, deeming it "an extraordinary book, not just about place, but the interaction between past, present and future." Lisa Levy has a terrific essay on James Sallis on Literary Hub. More reviews are in for Willnot — Adam Woog from the Seattle Times says, "Sallis expertly weaves notes of hope throughout his pungent and often melancholy tale." Booklist calls Willnot "a profoundly moving, quietly eloquent jewel of a novel." The Big Issue says, "James Sallis remains at the very top of his game, and I can't recommend Willnot highly enough." And Laura Lippman writes that "James Sallis is one of our greatest living crime writers and Willnot continues an almost unseemly streak of excellence. Try to get his words, his stories, his people out of your head. Just try."
From May 2016: Willnot, Jim's new novel, will be out June 21 from Bloomsbury. Reviews are already coming in, with Kirkus calling it "a brisk and sure-handed treat." The novel will be launched, as usual, at The Poisoned Pen in Scottsdale, Arizona, on June 24 at 7 p.m, with a signing by Jim and music by the band of which he's a founding member, Three-Legged Dog.
From April 2016: Five Oaks has published James Sallis' new poetry collection, Night's Pardons, which is available now. No Exit in the UK has announced a limited-edition hardback edition of Jim's new novel Willnot, each copy to be signed by Jim; this will be issued simultaneously with the paperback in June.
From December 2015: Jim's new novel, Willnot, is scheduled for June from Bloomsbury, and his fourth poetry collection, Night's Pardons, from Five Oaks Press in February or March. Negotiations are underway for reissue of a number of earlier books including Difficult Lives and the six Lew Griffin novels. Jim's story "Ferryman" recently came out in Craig McDonald's anthology Borderland Noir (Betimes Books); others are pending in Patrick Millikin's The Highway Kind from Mulholland and Ellery Queen's. Jim will participate in the Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference at ASU in February and, if all goes well, will be in France in April and May attending literary festivals in Brittany and Lyon and seeing old friends.
From October 2015: Jim would like everyone to know that, having resigned from teaching at Phoenix College rather than sign a "loyalty oath," he is firmly at work on two new novels. One, working title Pretty, has a first-person female narrator who's been through many kinds of hell and endured. The other, Dayenu (after a song from Passover), takes place in a near future America of city-states loosely linked in a totalitarian government that actually cares for its citizens.
My name is Pretty, but I'm not. Haven't been, won't be. And that's not really my name, either, just what Daddy calls me. Beauty's only skin deep, he used to say, so when I was six I scratched my arm open looking for it. Scar's still there. And I guess it's like everyone saying if you dig deep enough you'll find China. All I got from that was blisters.
My real name is Sarah Jane Pulaski. Kids at school call me Squeaky. At church I'm mostly S.J. or (because Daddy and I share initials, a real yuck for the old guys in their baggy suits standing by the Sunday School door having a cigarette) Junior. Seems like everyone I know calls me something different.
I wrote all the above in a diary when I was seven. It wasn't a real diary, it was a spiral-bound notebook, the kind you got for school, with a daisy-yellow cover that said Southern Paper and wide-spaced lines. For security I kept a paperclip on the pages in a changing pattern, how many pages got clipped together, where on the page. Who I thought might want to sneak in and read what a seven-year-old wrote about her life, I can't now imagine. [...]
I grew up in a town called Selmer, in a house that spent the first sixteen years of my life getting ready to slide down the hill, which it did right after I left. Daddy moved into a trailer then and never much left it so as you'd notice. I'm not going to tell you about my marriage to Bullhead because who cares. Just more scars.
But I didn't do all those things they say I did. Well, not all of them anyway.
At 10:36 as I'm listening to accounts on the radio of a plane lost over the Arctic Sea, the noise from within the trunk gets to be so annoying that I stop the car, open up, and whack the guy with the cut-down baseball bat I stowed under the front seat. The ride's a lot better after that. They never find the plane.
Where I've pulled off is this little rise from which you can see the highway rolling on for miles in both directions, my very own wee grassy knoll. The trees off the road are at that half-and-half stage, leaves gone brown closer to the ground, those above stubbornly hanging on. Because of Union Day there's little traffic, two semis, a couple of vans and a pickup during the time I'm there, which is the only reason I'm risking everything to be out here and on the road taking care of one last piece of business. Even the government's mostly on hold. [...]
An hour later I make the delivery and go about my business, not that there is any. They'd got too close this time and I'd gone deeper to ground, pretty much as deep as proves go-able. The gig was a hold-over from before, timing rendered it possible, so I took the chance. Messages left in various dropboxes now would grow up orphans.
Jim will again be participating in ASU's Desert Nights, Rising Stars conference February 18-20. Two of the four Drive graphic novels are now out, with his new novel, Willnot, set for spring publication by Bloomsbury; he's currently reading page proofs.
Click here for news prior to October, 2015
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Fantasy and Science Fiction — Books — January/February 2016. James Sallis reviews fantasy and SF fiction for F&SF.
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