imagemap information books review news archive carpentry author homepage

{Formerly top-down chronological -- i.e., latest NEWS lowest -- we're in the process of
reversing this order, posting latest NEWS up top. Be confused.
Note: If you're seeing odd screen characters
try enabling Western Character Encoding or Unicode
from your browser's View menu.}




The Company You Keep
Traversée Vent Debout, aka Windward Passage, has landed on a list of
90 novels classified as "experimental" at Babelio.com.
And what a list it is. Check it out.

Down Under Strikes Again: A review of the Bareknuckle Poet Anthology in the Australian.

Along wth lots of other interesting stuff,
a hot-rodded excerpt entitled "Soar, Drenched Falcon, One Panel to The Next"
from new novel, You Don't Pencil, is to be savored in the latest issue of
Big Click.

Do Not Miss Lucia Berlin's A Manual for Cleaning Women, just out (August, 2015) from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
As good a book as you'll read this year, if you read good books at all.
For Jim's memoir of Lucia, please click here.

A quick interview with Jim for & by City Lights Books.

France...
Champagne Stories with Jim in Le Figaro


England...
"Jim Nisbet is a US crime writer hardly known in the United Kingdom, writing novels set in the counterculture of San Francisco in the noir genre, a genre which
goes beyond hard-boiled to a bleak conclusion with, usually, a beautiful but corrupt femme fatale at the heart. Not at all my usual scene. However, I am deeply
impressed by all four of these novels. There is nothing like them that I have encountered in past or present crime fiction."
You can read more here: Ludmilla May Reviews Jim Nisbet


Germany...

Welcome to Frankfurt






Back home in The United States...

"This book [Old and Cold] is an exercise in showing how intelligent Nesbitt is. It has zero value, zero interest. Zero message."

Read more of this Amazon.com
"Most Helpful Customer Review"
Here


Under its French title, Traversée vent debout, Windward Passage has been nominated for the 2013
Grand Prix de Littérature Policier.
Thirteen French titles are in competition, of which one
will be chosen for Les Romans Français prize, while seventeen
titles from around the world are in competition for Les romans étrangers prize.
In the very busy world of French awards for polar, Le Grand Prix de Littérature is perhaps the most prestigious.
Dating to 1948, it is also the oldest. You can read the full list of nominees at Janet Rudolph's Mystery Fanfare website.
We daresay that any but the least ardent readers of crime novels
will find a number of pleasant suprises on these two lists.

And the winner is: Drive by James Sallis. Congratulations, James!


Blast from the past: a recording from Naropa Institute's digital archives,
comprising first documents of The Allen Ginsberg Project, aka An Allen Ginsberg Gallimaufry.
This one features Peter Lanborne Wilson, Allen himself, followed withal by Jim Nisbet,
on, among other things, Allen's 70th birthday.
A night to remember, and one chooses one's cliché carefully...

David Schein's premier of two chestnuts -- his own Out Comes Butch and Jim Nisbet's Note From Earth --
in Burlington, Vermont, as of May 24, 2013, has received an excellent review,
which you may read here: Seven Days.

Old & Cold has been nominated, along with nine other titles, for Spinetingler's 2013 Best Novella/Short Novel Award.

This extensive (31:09) radio interview from 2003, occasioned by the publication of
The Price of The Ticket, just turned up on PRX, whose credo reads thusly:

Public Radio Exchange is an online marketplace for distribution, review, and licensing
of public radio programming. PRX is also a growing social network and community of listeners,
producers, and stations collaborating to reshape public radio.

The free sign-up seems to be harmless, and there's other stuff of interest, too.

* * *

Part 1 (the first 10 poems) of Jim's translation of Les Fleurs du Mal
has been in the Top 10 at Retort Magazine for one year.

* * *

LOST VOICES #11 features a Jim Nisbet short story, Nice People.

* * *

Note From Earth, published at last. Read it or download it for yr electronic pleasure:
The Big Click.

* * *

This just in from Kirkus Reviews:

OLD AND COLD
Author: Nisbet, Jim
Review Issue Date: July 15, 2012
Online Publish Date: July 1, 2012
Publisher:Overlook
Pages: 160
Price ( Paperback ): $13.95
Publication Date: July 17, 2012
ISBN ( Paperback ): 978-1-59020-915-8
Category: Fiction


An aging, homeless Man with No Name takes an assignment for a contract hit in order to keep himself in icy martinis.

Noir master Nisbet (The Damned Don´t Die, 1986, etc.) slaps readers right in the face with this stream-of-consciousness rant by an alcoholic
narrator who makes Clint Eastwood sound downright squeaky by comparison. Nisbet´s protagonist lives under a bridge abutment in San
Francisco, where he does the math calculating how time is running out for him, pining for the daughter he thinks he has somewhere and
betting whether the "smart money" will keep him in the two-to-ten martinis a day he needs to get by. "The one thing about binge drinking is
that the one thing you know for sure is that sooner or later, while you know you´re going to wake up under that bridge abutment again, the
question is whether you´re going to wake up there in one piece," mulls our nominative hero. This is experimental stuff in a somewhat
traditional genre, with chapters composed of unbroken paragraphs filled with the bleak but verbose monologue by a dying man. There are lots
of ruminations here, marinated in Andrei Rublev vodka (an in-joke by Nisbet, naming his fictional cocktail after a medieval painter of Orthodox
icons), ranging from notes on the economy to mathematical expressions of alcoholism to clinical observations on the little humiliations of
one´s lifestyle, like spitting out teeth from time to time. Through the fog and psychic whiplash of this guy´s brain, we somehow learn that he´s
taken one more hit, a $5,000 gig that will keep him on another bad bender for a while. There´s a couple of cops nosing around and
a bartender who riles things up by raising the price of martinis to $6.50, which changes the math for our geezer killer. But plot is
secondary to voice in this fractured fairy tale, where the lessons aren´t cautionary − they´re fatal.

A grim, fiercely written entry whose best feature is one baleful voice, one step from the grave.

* * *

Interesting review, the above, from an entity that has not reviewed a Jim Nisbet novel since Prelude To A Scream, in 1997.

* * *

A brief notice, late in arriving but much appreciated...
"During the stupendous 2011 Lit Crawl, Jim Nisbet read electrifying Baudelaire translations,
with French original provided by Kim Gill...."
The packed house was counted at 180 attendees, with the best sound system ever encountered in a club -- for which a big thanks and kudos to the organizers.
insidestorytime
(Note the sly citation at the bottom of the page.)

* * *

Indisputably bizarre stats in this screen shot from Amazon.it -- that's Amazon Italy --
tabbing the re-release, by Fanucci Editore, of I Dannati Non Muoiono
aka The Damned Don't Die aka The Gourmet.
3/20/12.




* * *

Most excellent critical attention for Lethal Injection and Dark Companion:
CULTurMAG

LOST VOICES #10 features an interview with Jim & a poem. (Both, BTW, in English.)

From Spinetingler´s 2012 wrap-up...
Indie House of the Year − U.S.: Overlook Press
¨For bringing back the groundbreaking late 80´s novellas of Jim Nisbet,
one of crime fiction´s most tragically overlooked talents,
Overlook deserves a freaking medal.
Few crime writers, living or dead, have the mastery of the English language,
the ability to effortlessly set a scene, or pack the same noir punch, as Jim Nisbet.
Noir lovers − prepare to meet your new God!¨

Here's the link: Spinetingler


A pseudonymous author, Barouk Salameh, has produced a novel entitled Le Testament Syriaque,
whose premise is this: the prophet Muhammed left a will, and somebody has found it.
The book is garnering a lot of interest in France. "Once the thick volume is laid to rest, " remarks interviewer Nicolas Michel, "the reader is left alone with an enigma: who is hidden behind the pseudonym Barouk Salameh? One thing is certain: Barouk Salameh is a great expert on Islam and a very clever storyteller."

In the course of this interview, Salameh tables an interesting remark:

Q: Why did you choose crime fiction as a means of expression?
A: American roman noir, the Scandanavian policier, the French néopolar have always confronted serious contemporary issues. This is not a coincidence. The detective story was invented by Edgar Allan Poe, a fine storyteller, poet and essayist (but also Baroque). Over time, it became a popular genre, even industrial, composed of many sub-genres. Now, with authors like Jim Nisbet, Umberto Eco or Stieg Larsson, and thanks to the public who follow them, crime fiction moves the traditional lines between genres noble and vulgar. It has joined the great literature, at least in part.


You can read the entire interview at Jeune Afrique. Scroll down until you reach... Le polar d'Allah....

And the novel?
How's your French?

* * *

Under the rubric Hot New Releases in Ancient & Classical Art,
Amazon.com announces the May 1, 2011 arrival of
Pompeii: Echoes from the Grand Tour,
from Italy's Contrasto.




This handsome and well-produced tome collects 53 gorgeous
full page photographs of the ruins of Pompeii
shot by master photographer Mimmo Jodice, unique images that conjure up a long-lost past
and its traditions, coupled with essays by Ethan Canin, Jay Parini and Jim Nisbet,
and curated, with an introduction, by Angelo Cannavacciulo.
A real ice-breaker for the coffee table that will have the whole family
talking about what may or may not have happened in the shadow of Vesuvius in A.D. 79.


* * *

An incredible review of A Moment of Doubt from Jonathan Kieffer of SF Weekly.

* * *

Click on this Agony Column Trashotron link and scroll down until the faces begin to look familiar. First photo links to an extensive and very funny radio interview with Graham Hancock and Jim Nisbet, incited by host Rick Kleffel. The second photo links to the reading that preceded the interview. In Capitola, California, October 2010.

* * *

Retort Magazine posts the second of its ongoing installments of Jim's translation of Charles Baudelaire's
Les Fleurs du Mal.

* * *

PulpMaster announces the spring 2011 publication of Tödliche Injektion.

* * *

File under Inexplicable. The Marin Independent Journal ranks Windward Passage at No. 4 on its July 25 list of best-selling books, compiled from, note, data submitted by Book Passage, Book Depot, and Barnes & Noble -- two independents and one chain.

* * *

Dunkler Gefährt has been nominated for the der Freitag 2010 Hotlist.
Below follows a rough translation of the setup.

The "Hot List of Independents",
the prize for books from [German] independent publishers,
will be awarded this year for the second time.
In recent weeks a total of 110 titles -- inter alia German-language novels --,
in the categroies of international fiction, non-fiction, anthologies, children etc. have been submitted.
Between July 2 and August 10, the 7 Hotlist categories will be open to voting. In addition, 8 "book market" editors have been appointed to jury the general pool of submissions, and make a selection of thier own. The resulting total of 15 Hotlist titles will be announced early in September. From these 15 titles an overall the winner will be determined by the jury, and their decision will be announced during a ceremony and party thrown by indie publishers at the Frankfurt Book Fair.

You can check out the other -- very interesting -- contenders, and vote if you like, here.

* * *

Be looking out for Jim's translations of
Les Fleurs du Mal
by, you know,
Charles Baudelaire
now being serialized in
Retort Magazine.
Please check out the rest of the site, too.

Congratulations and thanks to Last Gasp Press for 40 years of fun & sedition.

A recent note from Lorraine Chamberlain concerning S. Clay Wilson.

The brand-new novel Windward Passage and the re-issue of Lethal Injection
are set to be published simultaneously by Overlook Press on April Fool's Day (4/1), 2010.
Please join us for the rollout of these two titles, courtesy of City Lights Books.
7:00 p.m. Thursday, April 15, 261 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA.

For advance notices, see the Agony Column, below, the Reviews page, and this...

"[Windward Passage] is a gripping conspiracy thriller that captures the attention of the audience from
the moment Charley knows time is running out on him and never lets go as the reader
wants to know the answers to the ton of whys. Fast-paced throughout, the two amateur
sleuths follow broken clues in an effort to learn the truth and possess what was left behind.
Timely yet eerie in many ways, fans will enjoy this strange but exhilarating tale as political bias trumps
over logic, fairness and common good in Jim Nisbet's strong suspense.
Harriet Klausner, The Mystery Gazette.

* * *

PM Press and The Green Arcade
announce the Fall 2010 publication of
A Moment of Doubt.




* * *

File under Whoa.
Released in Germany in December, Dunkler Gefährt entered ARTE.TV's January top ten list of crime novels at No. 9.
In February, it rose to No. 6

* * *

A rather amazing notice from The Agony Column at Bookotron...

12-15-09: Jim Nisbet Takes You on a 'Windward Passage' : Catching Up

Well, it's official. In the next decade, the world will finally be weird enough to make Jim Nisbet accessible to the masses. It's taken a while, but you can no-doubt thank a labyrinthine conspiracy of rogue scientists, bizarre faith-healers, lonely and sort-of inept gumshoes, beautiful but tweaked women and unseen, god-like powers that have their own best interests in mind for this literary gift. That's good news for readers. For the world at large, perhaps, not so much.

I'm sure drugs, philosophy, alcohol and violence also enter into this equation. Nisbet has been writing about this world, the world as she really is for almost thirty years now. And though he gets good reviews, there's always a sort of raised eyebrow to the whole affair. Because even though Nisbet doesn't come from or in some senses inhabit the ghetto of genre fiction, he is truly, deeply weird. The deal is that he is as weird as the world. And for some readers, that's a quality to cherish.

As a result, Nisbet's publishing record has been confined mostly to the independent press, in particular the wonderful Dennis McMillan editions. McMillan is as iconoclastic as Nisbet, and like recognizing like, he's published Nisbet titles that include 'The Price of the Ticket' and 'The Syracuse Codex.' These are gorgeous and in-your-face strange books, books that will twist your pointy little head round and make you feel like you're dreaming even though you're wide awake. It's as if Nisbet inhabited and wrote from a world right next to ours, only weirder.

But next year is going to change all that, because, apparently, reality has caught up with Jim Nisbet, so that Overlook Press and Penguin Putnam will his next novel, 'Windward Passage' (Overlook / Peter Mayer Publications / Penguin Putnam ; April, 2010 ; $25.95). In a page that could be taken from a Nisbet novel, that end is only the beginning. Apparently, we're going to get a complete set of Nisbet's works rolled out in the months to follow, in trade paperback editions. But then, what was once a mix of literary fiction, mystery and science fiction will seem like the stuff of mimetic reality. I suppose the really scary question is, "What is Jim Nisbet seeing now?" Not sure I want to know. If there is an actual analogue of H. P. Loveraft's mad Arabian author Abdul Alhazred in this world, it's probably Nisbet. The man is connected to deep reality in a profoundly disturbing manner, and he's able to channel that into fiction that seems like tomorrow's headlines. If he ever authors a sort of religious, visionary work, its readers will likely summon shoggoths and the Elder Ones into this world.

So 'Windward Passage' is set in a nightmarish near future that is all too likely to become our present while our noses are to the grindstone making enough money to survive. "Her name was Melanie Hecatomb, she was seventeen years old, and she'd lived all her life on the 74th floor of the Transbay Tower in downtown San Francisco." Californians are waiting for binds tio be Chineesiated; squirt patches help keep your emotions in control and there's a New Sexuality to make sure you’re ill at ease. So, yes, while the copy on the ARC describes this world as "science fiction," readers can clearly see that we're talking about, well, yesterday afternoon.

I suspect that Nisbet is going to see a lot of comparison to a certain once-cult science fiction writer who is now having his dinner napkin notes adapted major motion pictures. (They turn out about as well as you’d expect, and in fact, they seem like something the author himself might imagine.) This release and the back-catalogue roll-out happen next year. You have this little interlude to seek out the Dennis McMillan editions of Nisbet's work, which are already scarcer than the hen's teeth that are likely to be a plot point in a Nisbet novel.

I will say that Nisbet, like reality, is not for everyone. Even when our consensus, mediated reality has caught up with Nisbet, his books have the sort of "naked lunch" effect that William Burroughs used to describe the hyper state of perception once experiences under the influence of narcotics. But you ignore Nisbet at your own peril. Because he really does know what's going on and why. He's lived in your future for some thirty years. He's still looking back. Readers would do well to look forward.

* * *

December, 2009: Of Pulpmaster is born...





"Five Stars!" -- COCKTA!L


* * *

Dog Days Bromide
Excellent ink in La Repubblica qui.

* * *

A review of editor Maxim Jakubowski's Paris Noir, from Serpent's Tail...

* * *

An interesting response to a thread suggested by an article in The Washington Post, "Five Novels That Defy Categorization",
by Book World editor Dennis Drabelle...
"There are two books that come to my mind as genre defying: David Mitchell's Cloud Atlas and Jim Nisbet's Prelude to a Scream.
For those who have read Cloud Atlas, I don't need to elaborate on its elements: mystery, history, science fiction, romance, satire;
it is at once a novel and a collection of short stories as well. It is all these things and more.
If you have not read this book, you must, or you will not have fully lived.
A lesser known novel, perhaps, is Prelude to a Scream. This novel is a mystery, yes; but, also, it is satire (with humor that makes your average gallows humor look downright cheery), it is noir and a half, it is rife with hyperbole, and it is compelling in the manner of a fatal car wreck. Further, Nisbet does something really despicable to his reader(s): he creates a hate-love-hate relationship with the protaginist over the course of the narrative. Lastly, you don't fully understand the title until you read the last sentence of the book.
This is a truly unique read and one you're not likely to ever forget.
Posted by: Jon Lauderbaugh | May 3, 2008 3:55 PM"
Check out the whole thread here.

* * *

As many visitors to this site are no doubt aware, artist and friend S. Clay Wilson suffered
a cataclysmic accident early in November, 2008. After some three months
in two hospitals, he has come to reside in a third facility, Laguna Honda Hospital, in San Francisco,
and while it would appear that his neurological prognosis has stabilized, and he continues to make amazing progress, Wilson's condition is going to necessitate serious and detailed care and attention for the foreseeable future. To this end his long-time partner, Lorraine Chamberlain, and his old friend and colleague, Spain Rodriguez,
now his legal conservators, have established the
The S. Clay Wilson Special Needs Trust.
Please take a moment to visit this link, peruse the information to be found there, and consider making a donation.
For examples of Wilson's art, click on the Reviews button above and scroll down to The Price of The Ticket,
or Google S. Clay Wison, or pick up any issue of ZAP Comix. He's a good 'un.
Thanks.

* * *

The "untitled noir crime thriller", alluded to in the next item, below, is called Windward Passage, and it looks
on schedule to see the light of day by early Spring, 2010.
Out of print, we note, since 1990, Lethal Injection will be reissued simultaneously.

* * *

Just announced (week of 1/28/08) in Publisher's Marketplace:
Mystery/Crime
¨Jim Nisbet's untitled noir crime thriller, plus nine novels from the
author's backlist, including LETHAL INJECTION and Hammett Prize
finalist DARK COMPANION, to Aaron Schlechter at The Overlook Press, by Matt
Bialer at Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (World English).¨

* * *

Congratulations to Dan Fesperman, whose The Prisoner of Guantánamo nosed out Dark Companion and three other worthy competitors (see below) for the 2007 Hammett Prize, in Baltimore, yet, 9/07.



The North American Branch of the International Association of Crime Writers has announced the five titles shortlisted for their Hammett Prize. Awarded annually "for a work of literary excellence in the field of crime writing by a US or Canadian author",
the nominees are:

John Case, Ghost Dancer: A Thriller (Ballantine)
Dan Fesperman, The Prisoner of Guantánamo (Knopf)
Jim Nisbet, Dark Companion (Dennis McMillan)
Bill Pronzini, The Crimes of Jordan Wise: A Novel (Walker)
Robert Ward, Four Kinds of Rain (St. Martin’s).

The winner was announced at the NAIBA Bookseller Sales Conference, in Baltimore, Maryland, October 14-15, 2007.

* * *
A review from Publishers Weekly re the anthology Plots with Guns, culled from Eddie Muller's website...
"The short-lived e-zine from which this anthology takes its title specialized in firearm-fueled crime fiction. [Editor Anthony Neil] Smith has culled 24 of its best, and though a few seem stray shots, most hit their targets as bulls-eyes. Eddie Muller's "Wanda Wilcox Is Trapped" is a steamy slice of period Hollywood sleaze in which a gun factors into a declining starlet's rendezvous with her tawdry fate. In Jim Nisbet's "Brian's Story," a pistol concealed in a car serves as a touchstone for a beautifully narrated memory tale of a white-trash kid's revenge against the pusher who sold his older brother a fatal dose of heroin. ... At their best, these stories demonstrate the breadth and creative reach of the modern hard-boiled tale."
* * *

This just in from Publishers Weekly, issue of May 22, 2006.
Dark Companion
Jim Nisbet. Dennis McMillan (www.dennismcmillan.com), $30 (144p) ISBN 0-939767-54-6
STAR :: Nisbet (Price of the Ticket) captures the absurdities of present-day America with a rare pungency in this noir gem, which not only succinctly illuminates a complex process like a California pharmaceutical company's rapid rise, growth, takeover, corporate squeeze, outsourcing and inevitable decline but also puts a human face on it. Banerjhee Rolf, a bright, levelheaded Indian-American scientist, is content to spend his days with his wife, tending his garden and studying his beloved astronomy. Despite unfairly losing his lab job at the pharmaceutical company he helped start, he accepts his fate without anger. When Rolf's relationship with his seedy, drug-dealing neighbor, Toby Pride, and Pride's stoner girlfriend takes a weird turn, Rolf's placid world is shattered and he becomes a fugitive from justice. Crime, cosmology, politics, philosophy, physics and more enter into this cautionary tale, which climaxes with the suddenness of a cobra strike and then delivers a denouement that's both stunning and absolutely perfect. While Nisbet will never hit a bestseller list or be anointed by Oprah, his work will be praised and enjoyed long after that of more celebrated writers has been forgotten.

* * *

FNAC has released its Guide Polar FNAC, naming and describing therein 200 all-time thrillers. Many's an author the conaisseur will recognize here -- Eddie Bunker, Robin Cook (aka Derek Raymond), James Ellroy, Ruth Rendell, James Carlos Blake, Mary Higgens Clark, Jean-Claude Izzo, Donald Westlake, Yasmina Khadra, Jim Thompson, Jean-Patrick Manchette, Chuck Palahnuik, Patricia Highsmith, David Goodis, George P. Pelecanos, Thierry Jonquet, Harry Crews, Barry Gifford, Larry Brown, Bret Easton Ellis, Marc Behm, Stephen King, not to mention Jim Nisbet who somehow skidded in with his very first novel, The Damned Don't Die (aka The Gourmet), translated by Freddy Michalski -- and, to wit, many's the eyebrow-raising huh!? available. Interesting tidbits abound; e.g., a very few writers, like Dennis Lahane, have more than one entry, as might be expected; and one translator, at least, might have more books on the list than all the multi-entry authors combined -- none other than the great Freddy Michalski, who finds to his credit here an amazing amount of work. Like most such lists it's compelling and annoying, knowledgable and incomplete, but, while French and American authors abound, the list is extremely international. It will be a rare and omniverous reader, indeed, to have already snapped up anywhere near all of these titles, and an even rarer one whose curiosity won't be tweaked and subsequently irritated to find an ostensibly outstanding title here which, however, has never been translated into English. Cultural hegemony being what it is, take a walk outside the fence through this door

* * *

Editions Payot et Rivages Rivages published Jim's novel, Dark Companion, under the title Sombre Complice, in November, 2005;
As of April, 2006, Dennis McMillan Publications has released it in America, complete with a tasty cover by Carol Collier.

Jim Nisbet's novel, The Syracuse Codex, was published as Le Codex de Syracuse
in France by Rivages Noir on May 18th, 2004.
Dennis McMillan Publications introduced it stateside in August, 2005.
See up to date notices under the REVIEWS button, above.

* * *
Check out the S. Clay Wilson spread in the April '06 issue of JUXTAPOSE magazine.
* * *

The following is a note from Mark Taylor, producer of Writer's Block, KQED-FM, San Francisco.



Writer's Block is a series of podcasts of writers reading from their own work.
In this case, Mark is referring to his recording of Jim's story, "Weight Less Than Shadow",
which appeared in the recently published (September, 2005) San Francisco Noir, edited by Peter Maravelis.

Hi Jim, Peter:

We launched Weight Less Than Shadow today.

If you'd like to help us promote this "auspicious" occasion, you may do so in the following ways:

1. Promote the podcast -- your podcast will permanently live at the following location:
http://www.kqed.org/topics/arts/writersblock/0602-nisbet.jsp

2. Encourage folks to subscribe to The Writers' Block via iTunes:
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=82023860

3. Promote The Writers' Block in general. We use this simple URL to do so.
You can too.
http://www.kqed.org/writersblock

4. KQED promotes all of its arts-related activities through the home
page of Scene and Unseen, our semi-active arts blog:
http://www.kqed.org/sceneandunseen

Yours,

Mark Taylor
Senior Web Producer
KQED Interactive

FIFTEEN YEARS OF RIVAGES
It's been fifteen years since Rivages/Noir began bringing us novels by completely atypical authors, who take a malicious pleasure in ignoring the codes of genre, in scoffing at them, in rewriting the literature called "noire". Fifteen years, four hundred titles, four hundred covers of now mythical books, works of art in and of themselves. The "boss" of Rivages, François Guérif, who has brought to light, among others, James Ellroy, James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, believes in following his love for books that have "flair". Among latter arrivals to the collection, of whom he surely speaks: Jim Nisbet, Jack O'Connel, Dennis Lahane, not to mention the Italian Andrea Pinketts... Closer to home, Pascal Dessaint or Marc Villard assert themselves as major authors. Incidentally, Mr. Guérif, your definition of "noir"? "It's a genre that vampirizes all the others. It's the best reflection of the epic in which it is written (like Little Caesar, by William Burnett, published in 1929) and, at the same time, it is capable of iden­tifying permanencies across the movements of society (...)." Our personal favorite has to be vant l'oarage, by Jim Thompson, number 300 in the collection.


May 25th. 2004


Hey kids! For a good time check out Darkness Moves: An Henri Michaux Anthology: 1927-1984,
selected, translated and presented by David Ball
(University of California Press).
(For a taste of Monsieur Plume, click here.)


Then checkout the Cheney...
spend



More news from France...

Auteur: Jim Nisbet
Date de diffusion: 21/06/2004
Antipode 2004 - réaliseé par Virtual Presence
Jim Nisbet is published by Rivages/Noir. I promised you to tell you about him when I referred to Prelude to a Scream which evoked the traffic in organs. If you like your polars [crime novels] filled with humor, sex and violence but also want to plunge into all the aspects of contemporary Evil, as well as a work based on meticulously constructed scenes and characters, well, Nisbet will ravish you. That’s the way it’s been since his first novel, The Damned Don't Die, published in 1981. After the first appearance of the search for a nutcase who skins alive his female victims we make the acquaintance of Windrow. In 1987 he gave us Lethal Injection, totally different since it unfolds in a penitentary, beginning with the scene of a quack charged with administering the injection to the condemned man. Soon enough, the quack himself comes face to face with Truth. The book opens with a scene for the anthologies: the old curate praying with the condemned man who could care less. The Devil in My Head appeared in 1989 and is a book shocking in style and subject: possession, satanism, demonology. I assure you that it will make you shudder, but also that Nisbet's style shatters as well. Ulysses' Dog came nipping at our heels [barking at our knees] in 1993 with the return of Windrow, the brave, the good, the brutal misanthrope who finds himself and plenty of trouble on a case within the milieu of country music, along with two more for the anthologies, chanteuses Jodie O'Ryan and Opium Jade. And as always with Nisbet: sex, drugs and shenanigans. Without forgetting his outrageous talent for creating characters as comic as they are maleficent, one can't resist. In 1994 it was with Under the Sign of the Razor that Nisbet engaged the genesis of a killer, Mark Paulos, nicknamed Pauley, who learned in his youth from his father nothing more true than that blows from a belt are preferable to strokes from a razor. Over the years, this book has become a true classic.
Jim Nisbet is available from Rivages/Noir, and I have alerted the bookstores that he is coming!

To view the original notice and the Antipode site,click


November 20, 2004: Death of Lucia Berlin.
Obituaries, remembrances and photos can be found at

For Jim's recollection of Lucia, click Here
(with apologies for clumsy formatting).


Word has just arrived from Pangolin Papers that Jim Nisbet's story, "Ruthie",
has won their Annual Fiction Prize, 2003 - 2004, for which many, many thanks.
That's the bit of silver lining. The cloud is, after 14 years and some 45 issues,
the lively Pangolin Papers may cease publication with the upcoming Spring 2005 issue.
But you can visit their website, buy back issues, read the first page of the story,
and see its author's name mispelled


* * *


In other news, MotorBooks has just (March '05) published photograper David Perry's opulent coffee-table collection
Hot Rod Pinups
which includes, among other charmers, Jim's memoir/essay
"A Seven Dollar Option".


Pursuant to Dennis McMillan Publications' announcement of the American publication of The Syracuse Codex...

Visit Jim and Dennis in Chicago at
Bouchercon, 2005
September 1-4.

...Or, come to a publication party at City Lights Books, in San Francisco, September 13, 2005, 7:00 P.M.


And be looking out for a new crime & thriller anthology from Dennis McMillan Publications,
Plots with Guns
forthcoming this fall.

Jim's newest novel, Dark Companion, is to be published by Rivages/Noir on November 4, 2005, in Paris.





Return to Home Page