Join us on Saturday, February 8th
in the Granny Smith Room
at Green Apple Books at 7:00 p.m.
as we welcome Willy Vlautin
, who will be reading from his latest book The Free
“In The Free, Willy Vlautin gives us a portrait of American life that is so hard and so heartbreaking that it should be unbearable, but it isn’t. The straightforward beauty of Vlautin’s writing, and the tender care he shows his characters, turns a story of struggle into indispensable reading. I couldn’t recommend it more highly.”
— Ann Patchett
“Willy Vlautin is one of the bravest novelists writing. Murderers, cheats, sadists, showy examples of the banality of evil, are easy, but it takes real courage to write a novel about ordinary good people. They don’t fit into the cynic’s little boxes -- they’re way too big. The guy working two eight-hour jobs who still can’t meet the mortgage but won’t let his kids down, the hospital night nurse coping with her crazy mean father and trying to rescue a lost girl -- common people, the ones who never get the breaks, the ones who need, and know, compassion. An unsentimental Steinbeck, a heartbroken Haruf, Willy Vlautin tells us who really lives now in our America, our city in ruins.”
— Ursula K. Le Guin
“Willy Vlautin writes novels about people all alone in the wind. His prose is direct and complex in its simplicity, and his stories are sturdy and bighearted and full of lives so shattered they shimmer.”
— Cheryl Strayed, The Oregonian (Portland) (review of Lean on Pete)
In his heartbreaking yet hopeful fourth novel, award-winning author Willy Vlautin demonstrates his extraordinary talent for illuminating the disquiet of modern American life, captured in the experiences of three memorable characters looking for meaning in distressing times.
Severely wounded in the Iraq war, Leroy Kervin has lived in a group home for eight years. Frustrated by the simplest daily routines, he finds his existence has become unbearable. An act of desperation helps him disappear deep into his mind, into a world of romance and science fiction, danger and adventure where he is whole once again.
About the Author
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s Too Much Water So Close to Home, that inspired him to start writing stories. He is the author of three well received novels, The Motel Life, which has been made into a movie starring Dakota Fanning, Emile Hersh, and Stephen Dorff; Northline, and Lean on Pete, which won two Oregon Book Awards. He is a founding member of the alternative country band Richmond Fontaine, which has produced nine studio albums. Driven by Vlautin’s dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe. He lives outside Portland, Oregon.