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Willy Vlautin, author of “The Night Always Comes,” with Maria Semple
April 12 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pmFree – $30
About this Event
An appearance by Willy Vlautin is always a special occasion for us, and, like you, we’ve been looking forward to his new novel, The Night Always Comes (Harper). He’ll appear in conversation with Seattle writer, Maria Semple.
Award-winning author Willy Vlautin explores the impact of trickle-down greed and opportunism of gentrification on ordinary lives in this scorching novel that captures the plight of a young woman pushed to the edge as she fights to secure a stable future for herself and her family.
Barely thirty, Lynette is exhausted. Saddled with bad credit and juggling multiple jobs, some illegally, she’s been diligently working to buy the house she lives in with her mother and developmentally disabled brother Kenny. Portland’s housing prices have nearly quadrupled in fifteen years, and the owner is giving them a good deal. Lynette knows it’s their last best chance to own their own home—and obtain the security they’ve never had. While she has enough for the down payment, she needs her mother to cover the rest of the asking price. But a week before they’re set to sign the loan papers, her mother gets cold feet and reneges on her promise, pushing Lynette to her limits to find the money they need.
Set over two days and two nights, The Night Always Comes follows Lynette’s frantic search—an odyssey of hope and anguish that will bring her face to face with greedy rich men and ambitious hustlers, those benefiting and those left behind by a city in the throes of a transformative boom. As her desperation builds and her pleas for help go unanswered, Lynette makes a dangerous choice that sets her on a precarious, frenzied spiral. In trying to save her family’s future, she is plunged into the darkness of her past, and forced to confront the reality of her life.
A heart wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and a home in a rapidly changing city, The Night Always Comes raises the difficult questions we are often too afraid to ask ourselves: What is the price of gentrification, and how far are we really prepared to go to achieve the American Dream? Is the American dream even attainable for those living at the edges? Or for too many of us, is it only a hollow promise?
“Vlautin offers a stunning, heartbreaking study of one woman’s struggle against fate and circumstance in an America that’s left her behind… This gritty page-turner sings with pitch-perfect prose, and [protagonist] Lynette’s desperation is palpable. Vlautin has achieved a brilliant synthesis of Raymond Carver and Jim Thompson.”— Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Willy Vlautin is the author of the novels The Motel Life, Northline, Lean on Pete, The Free, and Don’t Skip Out on Me. He is the founding member of the bands Richmond Fontaine and The Delines. He lives outside Portland Oregon.
Maria Semple is the author of Today Will Be Different, Where’d You Go, Bernadette, and This One is Mine . Before writing fiction, Maria wrote for the TV shows 90210, Mad About You, Ellen, Arrested Development and others.