Friday, April 23, 2021

Ten top noir novels

Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Willy Vlautin is the author of six novels and is the founder of the bands Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. Vlautin started writing stories and songs at the age of eleven after receiving his first guitar. Inspired by songwriters and novelists Paul Kelly, Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, William Kennedy, Raymond Carver, and John Steinbeck, Vlautin works diligently to tell working class stories in his novels and songs.

Vlautin has been the recipient of three Oregon Book Awards, The Nevada Silver Pen Award, and was inducted into the Nevada Writers Hall of Fame and the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. He was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was shortlisted for the Impac Award (International Dublin Literary Award). Two of his novels, The Motel Life and Lean on Pete, have been adapted as films. His novels have been translated into eleven languages. Vlautin teaches at Pacific University’s MFA in Writing program.

He lives near Portland, Oregon with his wife, dog, cats, and horses.

At Publishers Weekly Vlautin tagged ten of his favorite noir novels, including:
Wild at Heart by Barry Gifford

.... I don’t want you to think I only like novels from the ’30s and ’50s. But this one is dedicated to Charles Willeford and in a lot of ways lives in that Black Lizard world. When Sailor gets out of prison, he is picked up by his girlfriend, Lula, and they go on the run. They are star-crossed lovers who never waiver, who always stick together. Lula’s mom, Marietta Pace Fortune, hires Johnnie Farragut to track them down and bring them back. It’s a classic. And it’s just the beginning. Gifford wrote about Sailor and Lula for their entire lives.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue