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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Ghost Years
Book cover for Ghost Years

A tribute to the author's mother Kitty, the gritty Chicago landscape of his youth, and the "ghost years, that time in your life you don't know won't never come again."
 

Barry Gifford has been writing the story of America in acclaimed novel after acclaimed novel for the last half-century. Almost all of the stories in Ghost Years takes place in the 1950s, examining the lives of women in that period—the suppression, the lack of opportunities, the dependency on men. Following his story collection, Roy's World, which inspired the documentary directed by Rob Christopher, narrated by Lili Taylor, Matt Dillon and Willem Dafoe, these stories show a childhood in mid-century America filled with innocence, grief, joy and wonder in equal measure.

Book cover for Ghost Years
Book cover for Ghost Years

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“Gifford forges these characters almost entirely out of dialogue [which] makes their affecting humanity doubly impressive … Roy and his mother are likely to live … vividly in the reader’s mind.”

“The way Barry Gifford lets people talk articulates everything about their unfamiliar inner lives, and ours.”

“Gifford, a master of the short story and nasty vignette, can sum up in a few words the cruelty, horror, and crushing banality that shape an entire life.”

Barry Gifford

BARRY GIFFORD’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in thirty languages. His novel Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati, established by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia, in Italy, and he has been the recipient of the Maxwell Perkins Award and Syndicated Fiction Awards from PEN, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He has also been awarded the Ingmar Bergman Chair on Cinema and Theater from the National University of Mexico. His books Sailor’s Holiday and The Phantom Father were each named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, and his book Wyoming was named a Novel of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. He has written librettos for operas by the composers Toru Takemitsu, Ichiro Nodaira, and Olga Neuwirth. Gifford’s work has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Punch, Esquire, La Nouvelle Revue Française, El País, La Repubblica, Rolling Stone, Brick, Film Comment, El Universal, Projections, Cosmopolitan, and the New York Times. His film credits include Wild at Heart, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Perdita Durango, Lost Highway, City of Ghosts, Ball Lightning, American Falls, and The Phantom Father. Barry Gifford’s most recent books are Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, The Up-Down, Imagining Paradise: New and Selected Poems, ;Writers, Southern Nights, Black Sun Rising / La Corazonada,and Roy’s World: Stories 1973–2020. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information visit www.BarryGifford.net

Other books by Barry Gifford