Writing novels is such a solitary undertaking that it stands to reason that authors would like to release pent-up energy somewhere.
For Pedro Hoffmeister, that includes rock climbing and music. For Willy Vlautin, that has included being the founding member of bands such as Richmond Fontaine and The Delines.
Both men, though, are accomplished authors who have new books out, and on March 22, they will be at Tsunami Books to read from those novels, sign books and, yes, regale the audience with a short concert with guitar and violin accompaniment.
Hoffmeister’s new work is American Afterlife, a suspense thriller based in Eugene. The 2006 recipient of the Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship for Fiction imagines a powerful earthquake that has leveled the city, and the teenage narrator, Cielo, is left to defend herself among the ruins as she tries to find her immigrant Mexican mother who has joined a cult.
Previous work from Hoffmeister, who co-created South Eugene High School’s Integrated Outdoor Program, includes the novels Too Shattered For Mending, This Is The Part Where You Laugh and The End Of Boys. He tells Eugene Weekly, “American Afterlife was the first novel I completed after my traumatic brain injury from a car accident, and I struggled with holding all the pieces and time-lines together in my head. But I was grateful to have a wonderful and encouraging editor, and I’m writing book three in the trilogy right now, What’s Gone Is Gone. My editor is currently editing book two in the trilogy, The Infinite Universe (to release next year).”
Vlautin will read from his new novel The Night Always Comes, which Publishers Weekly, in a starred review, notes is a page turner which “sings with pitch-perfect prose, and [protagonist] Lynette’s desperation is palpable. Vlautin has achieved a brilliant synthesis of Raymond Carver and Jim Thompson.”
Vlautin, a native of Nevada, has been the recipient of three Oregon Book Awards and has been inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame. He’s also been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. His novel Lean on Pete was adapted for the screen in 2018, for a film starring Steve Buscemi, Chloe Sevigny, Charlie Plummer and Travis Fimmel.
Authors and singer-songwriters Pedro Hoffmeister and Willy Vlautin will read from their latest novels and sing folk 7 to 9 pm Wednesday, March 22, at Tsunami Books, 2585 Willamette Street. FREE.