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Sarah Jane book cover

New reviews posted 12 October 2019

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.

Soho Press: Sallis' primary US publishers

Host Publications: publishers of Limits of the Sensible World and Potato Tree

Lew Griffin book cover gallery (U.S. reissues)

French book cover gallery

Latest News...

January news: Sarah Jane has received a lovely review in the Los Angeles Review of Books from Glenn Harper. From the review: "James Sallis delineates the worlds of his characters through his laconic and vivid writing: he brings to the plain language of noir a literary sensibility, with striking prose and frequent literary references that are never obtrusive...Sarah Jane, his remarkable new novel, is about a woman who finds her place in the world but can't escape her past, in a story that demonstrates deep empathy for both central and incidental characters."

December news: Sarah Jane has made the New York Times' Best Crime Novels of the Year, the Financial Times' Best Books of 2019: Crime, and The Times of London's Best Crime Fiction Books of 2019, while his recently re-released Lew Griffin series gets the nod from the Wall Street Journal's What to Give: Mysteries.

November news: Jim's fifth collection of new poems, Ain't Long Fore Day, has just been published by Unsolicited Press in Portland, Oregon. Here's a sample:


In the wind that is my heart
there are no birds
today. You are gone.

In darkness, dark eyes appear.
This brightness at my back,
alive with memory.

In the night of wolves
a squirrel sits still, trembling
with hope.

Early November news: Writing in The Big Issue, Doug Johnstone calls Sarah Jane "utterly wonderful from start to finish," while in The Spectator (UK), Jeff Noon finds that Sallis "weaves a fine spell," calling the book "cool, crisp, non-linear, gritty and dreamlike."

Mid-October news: Jonathan Bond profiles James Sallis for the Phoenix New Times. Sarah Jane is a Book of the Week at the New York Times, whose editors call it "beautifully lyrical." Great reviews continue to pour in, including these at Bookgasm (Alan Cranis), and from journalist Woody Haut.

October news: Sarah Jane is a Publisher's Weekly book of the week. Starred reviews have also appeared in Library Journal and Booklist. Sarah Jane is on Amazon's Best of the Month list both for mysteries and for literary fiction. Lead reviews are just in from BookPage, the Wall Street Journal, and from the New York Times, where Marilyn Stasio remarks: "gorgeous authorial voice... spellbinding... uncanny insights... stormy poetry."

Late August update: Publishers Weekly, in a boxed, starred review, has this to say about Jim's new novel:
Sarah Jane Pullman, the narrator of this hypnotic, meticulously crafted crime novel from Sallis (Drive), has become the acting sheriff of Farr, a rural southwestern town, following the disappearance of her predecessor and mentor, Sheriff Cal Phillips. Sarah's combat experience in the Gulf War and her heightened perception of human nature have made her a natural for law enforcement, but her life up until this point has followed anything but a linear route. Amid her search for the missing Phillips, Sarah fills in her past. After fleeing from her small Southern town at 17, Sarah hit the road, and a bit of trouble led to her court-ordered stint in the military. After her discharge, Sarah spent years adrift, finding work as an itinerant cook in faceless diners and shelters, moving through a string of relationships (including one with a violent cop), getting a college degree, losing a child, improvising a life, moving on when things got complicated. An insightful character study of one woman's reckoning with her own demons, this is also a powerful look at contemporary America. Sallis is writing at the top of his game.

August news: Jim will be very visible this fall. As prelude to the upcoming new books, Jim has new stories coming in the September/October issues of both Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and Asimov's, and the latest installment of his books column for The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction in its September/October 70th anniversary issue.

July news: In October, Jim's new novel Sarah Jane appears from Soho Press. Simultaneously, Soho affiliate Syndicate will bring out Jim's two-in-one Difficult Lives/Hitching Rides, pairing a new edition of his landmark study of paperback crime writers with a collection of essays on other writers such as Shirley Jackson, Gerald Kersh, Patricia Highsmith and Jean-Patrick Manchette; the book's a recipient of the UK's H.R.F. Keating Award for crime writing. In addition, beginning in September and continuing through December, Soho will reissue all six Lew Griffin novels (the "bug books") in a beautiful new uniform edition. Finally in October, Unsolicited Press will publish Jim's fifth poetry collection, Ain't Long Fore Day.

September 10The Long-Legged Fly
October 1Sarah Jane
October 1Difficult Lives/Hitching Rides
October 15Moth
October 31Ain't Long 'Fore Day
November 12Black Hornet
November 12Eye of the Cricket
December 3Bluebottle
December 3Ghost of a Flea

Meanwhile, new short stories are upcoming in Alfred Hitchcock's, Ellery Queen's, Asimov's, Analog, North Dakota Quarterly and an original anthology or two, with Jim's novella Dayenu (from Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet) selected for The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2019, ed. Rich Horton for Prime Books.

May news: Jim Sallis has just won England's H.R.F. Keating Award for his two-in-one book Difficult Lives/Hitching Rides. The award is given for criticism in the mystery field. Jim's book pairs a revised version of an older book on original paperback novelists with essays and introductions on writers such as Shirley Jackson, Derek Raymond, Gerald Kersh and Jean-Patrick Manchette. It's also been announced that Jim will serve as one of the judges in this year's Philip K. Dick Award for distinguished science fiction published in paperback.

Late April news: Among many print and online pieces resulting from French publication of Willnot and Jim's recent visit, is this beautifully tuned, atmospheric portrait (note: in French) from book critic and essayist Sandra Benedetti, which appeared in last week's L'Express.

Also of note are appearances of new work, not Jim's stories as one might expect to find in these usual haunts, but two of his poems, in the May/June issues of Asimov's and Ellery Queen's. New stories have just been accepted for an anthology devoted to the memory of Bill Crider, and by North Dakota Quarterly.

April news: Jim returned home from Paris and from Lyon's Quais du polar (100,000 attendees, panels on Jim's work, three-way discussions with Chris Offutt and Ron Rash, a free chat on jazz — complete with live band — between Jim and Michael Connelly) to learn that No Exit Press's "Ace double" edition of Difficult Lives/Hitching Rides has been shortlisted for the UK's HRF Keating Award. This book of critical essays will be out in the U.S. in October from Syndicate, at the same time Soho publishes Jim's new novel, Sarah Jane. From Soho the month before, the initial Lew Griffin novel, The Long-Legged Fly, will appear in a new uniform edition of all six, with the others to follow shortly. Also in October, Jim's fifth poetry collection, Ain't Long Fore Day, comes out from Unsolicited Press. As leaves fall from trees, books hit the floors scuttling for cover.

Click here for news prior to April 2019

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Elsewhere on the web...
Another Time, Another Place (review)
Artaud (poem)
Autumn Leaves (story)
Blue Yonders (story)
Book of Hours (poem)
The Book Not Written (essay)
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Darkness and Light (Disch memorial)
The Darkly Talented Patricia Highsmith (review)
The Dead All Have the Same Skin (review)
Dear Floods of Her Hair (story)
The Death of Poetry (poem)
The Death of Virgil (poem)
Departures (poem)
Feverish Country, This (essay)
Four Poems (poems)
Five Poems (poems)
Get Along Home (story)
Greatest Hits (story)
Heidegger's Body Parts (poem)
Incomparable Paco (essay)
Jumping Tracks (essay)
Late Dinner (poem)
Roomer of War (essay)
When Fire Knew My Name (story)


Most recent columns...

The Magazine of Fantasy and Science FictionBooks — November/December 2018. James Sallis reviews fantasy and SF fiction for F&SF.

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