Reminiscent of Mark Twain's Huckleberry Finn and Ernest Hemingway's Nick Adams stories, Memories from a Sinking Ship travels the landscape of a turbulent world seen through a boy’s steady gaze. Like Twain’s Mississippi River and Hemingway’s Big Two-Hearted, Gifford’s Chicago, New Orleans, and the highways and byways between offer us mesmerizing lives lost in the kaleidoscope of postwar America, in particular those of Roy’s adrift and disappointed mother and his hoodlum father.
The author of more than forty works of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, which have been translated into over twenty-five languages, BARRY GIFFORD writes distinctly American stories for readers around the globe. From screenplays and librettos to his acclaimed Sailor and Lula novels, Gifford’s writing is as distinctive as it is difficult to classify. Born in the Seneca Hotel on Chicago’s Near North Side, he relocated in his adolescence to New Orleans. The move proved significant: throughout his career, Gifford’s fiction—part-noir, part-picaresque, always entertaining—is born of the clash between what he has referred to as his “Northern Side” and “Southern Side.” Gifford has been recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, The American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. His novel Wild at Heart was adapted into the 1990 Palme d’Or-winning film of the same name. Gifford lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.