Michael Gruber, New York Times bestselling author, describes Willy Vlautin’s prose as the “secret love child of Raymond Carver and Flannery O’Connor –just plain, true, tough, irony-free, heartrending American fiction about people living in the third-world sections of our country.” Deschutes Public Library is pleased to welcome musician and Oregon Book Award winning author Willy Vlautin to McMenamins Old St. Francis School for Words on Tap on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 7:00 pm. During Words on Tap, Vlautin will blend his stories and songs together for an unforgettable night of storytelling and music. The event is free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be available for purchase.
Born and raised in Reno, Nevada, Vlautin started playing guitar and writing songs as a teenager and quickly became immersed in music. It was a Paul Kelly song, based on Raymond Carver’s short story Too Much Water So Close to Home that inspired him to start writing stories. Vlautin has published three novels. His debut novel, The Motel Life (2007), tells the hard luck story of two brothers living in motels in Reno. Published in eleven countries, The Motel Life won the Nevada Silver Pen Award in 2007 and made several top ten lists in the states and abroad. Northline(2008) is the heartbreaking tale of Allison Johnson, an alcoholic waitress who flees Las Vegas in search of a new beginning in Reno. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer says Northline heralds the emergence of a “major realist talent,” and made the San Francisco Chronicle’s Top Ten Bestseller List. His third novel, Lean on Pete (2010) is the story of a lonely kid named Charley Thompson, who starts working for a trainer at Portland Meadows and befriends a horse named Lean on Pete. Lean on Pete and Vlautin won big at the 2011 Oregon Book Awards, receiving the Ken Kesey Award for Fiction and a new Readers' Choice Award. Lean on Pete.
Vlautin, who describes himself as "a pretty dark, cynical man," founded the band Richmond Fontaine (video on YouTube) in 1994. The band has produced seven studio albums to date, plus a handful of live recordings and EP’s. Driven by Vlautin’s dark, story-like songwriting, the band has achieved critical acclaim at home and across Europe.
Vlautin currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon. He continues to write and perform with Richmond Fontaine, recently returning from a European tour. An avid fan of horseracing, Vlautin can often be found writing behind a closed circuit monitor at Portland Meadows racetrack.
For more information about this or other library programs, please visit the library website at www.deschuteslibrary.org. People with disabilities needing accommodations (alternative formats, seating or auxiliary aides) should contact Liz at 312-1032.