Last fall The Belcourt showed the well-reviewed movie version of The Motel Life, starring Stephen Dorff and Emile Hirsch as brothers whose bond is tested by a tragic accident. It was adapted from the debut novel by acclaimed author Willy Vlautin, also known as the frontman for the Portland-based Americana group Richmond Fontaine.
Tonight Vlautin will be at Parnassus Books in Green Hills to sign and read from his latest novel, The Free. From the publisher's website:
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. ...
In crystalline prose, both beautiful and devastating, this "major realist talent" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) considers the issues transforming ordinary people's lives—the cost of health care, the lack of economic opportunity, the devastating scars of war—creating an extraordinary contemporary portrait that is also a testament to the resiliency of the human heart.
It's remarkable that authors of Vlautin's caliber and reputation are visiting these days with such frequency. The event is at 6:30 p.m.; show up and see why Parnassus co-founder Ann Patchett calls him "the Steinbeck of our time."