Roy's World


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A tie-in to the new documentary, Roy's World, directed by Rob Christopher narrated by Lili Taylor, Matt Dillon and Willem Dafoe, these stories comprise one of Barry Gifford's most enduring works, his homage to the gritty Chicago landscape of his youth

About the Author

Barry Gifford is the author of more than forty published works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into thirty languages. His most recent books include The Cuban Club, The Up-Down, Writers, Sailor & Lula- The Complete Novels, Sad Stories of the Death of Kings, Imagining Paradise- New and Selected Poems, The Roy Stories, and Landscape with Traveler. He co-wrote with David Lynch the screenplays for the two movies they made together, Wild at Heart, based on the Gifford's 1990 novel, which is one of the eight novels in Sailor & Lula, and Lost Highway. Wild at Heart, directed by David Lynch, won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1990, the same year in which the novel was published. Gifford lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


*"These brief but indelible slices of life detail the unorthodox coming-of-age of a Chicago boy named Roy Winston as he wanders the city ... The stories comprise a road novel without a mapand without a destination, but when we finish them, we know we've been somewhere real." --Booklist, starred review

"Roy's World:Stories 1973-2020 ... Taken together, these stories make for one of the most important and moving American bildungsromans of all time." -William Boyle, Southwest Review

"Gifford (the Sailor and Luna series) collects his stories and novellas about a boy named Roy and his seedy, charming world for a staggering omnibus that includes 18 new stories and sweeps back to the 1973 collection A Boy's Novel. Though he occasionally verges on adolescence, Roy is mainly portrayed as five to seven years old, picking up life lessons from showgirls, gamblers, gangsters, and hardscrabble streets , but still occasionally including a tender game of baseball, as in 'The Winner.' Roy starts out life in Florida, where, as seen in 'A Good Man to Know,' his father is involved in organized crime. Roy's mother, after his parents' divorce when Roy is eight, brings one 'rat' after another into their lives, so much so that in 'Unspoken,' Roy tries to arrange to live with a neighbor. In 'Memories of a Sinking Ship,' Roy's mom takes them both to live in Chicago. Here, the collection truly sings, where a man looks like a 'Maxwell Street organ-grinder without the organ or the monkey,' and some stories take on the lurid and matter-of-fact tone of a newspaper crime report, such as 'Sick,' in which a dead body is discovered on a lakeside beach. The stories highlight Gifford's range of styles and registers, even if the book doesn't quite cohere into a larger narrative. Taken story by story, this collection is full of gems." --Publishers Weekly

"Roy's World
transcends audiences to a romantic, 1950's Chicago of the past, where the winters made you tougher, and the neighborhoods had a unique appreciation for the arts. The addition of airy and harmonious jazz music creates a noir feeling, while the writing of Gifford's is whisking you away to another place and time. ... the writing comes alive, because the stories of Roy, are the stories of Barry. As Christopher intertwines the writing with Gifford's life, the two become one and the same. Stories of Roy's father passing away are also Barry's reality and the Chicago that Gifford eloquently describes as Roy's just so happens to be the same Roger's Park that Barry lived in. The best way to describe a documentary like Roy's World is a complete artistic experience. " review of documentary "Roy's World"

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