Beneath the Coyote Hills (Spuyten Duyvil Press)
Please join us this afternoon for the official launch of local author William Luvaas's exciting new novel Beneath the Coyote Hills!
“They say you never get more than you can handle. So how do we explain suicide, then, or divorce, or crimes of passion, or parents who murder their children, or fall to pieces after having them? How do we explain people like me?”
So begins the story of Tommy Aristophanos, a luckless man, homeless freegan, fiction writer, and epileptic, who lives alone in an olive grove outside the town of Hamlet in the foothills of the San Jacinto Mountains in the Southern California desert. Tommy survives on his wits and society’s leavings, while the main character of his novel, Voltaire Cambridge Hoffstatter (Volt), is successful in all he undertakes. Their lives unexpectedly intertwine when Volt emerges from the pages of Tommy’s novel to harass him.
Volt believes character is fate, while Tommy’s many reversals and fickle spells teach him that we control far less than we imagine. In the final showdown between the two, we are left wondering who is the true Pygmalion–Tommy or Volt?
A master of timing and entertaining dialogue, William Luvaas peoples Tommy’s world with characters that are as outrageous as they are real: Tommy’s depressed mother who never gets out of bed; Crash, a tattooed, motorcycle-riding Jesus freak; Berkeley Don, hairy, kurta-wearing Buddha of the high desert; and changeling Lizard Man who haunts Tommy in his spells, as he takes readers on an unforgettable ride into the illusory world of success and failure and of reality itself. Where do we draw the line between reality and fantasy? To what extent do we write our own destiny, to what extent is it written for us?
Part satire, part picaresque romp, part speculative adventure, Beneath The Coyote Hills unfolds as a multi-layered allegory that will stay with readers long after the last page.
Praise for William Luvaas
“Beneath the Coyote Hills has cost me a sleepless night that I can scarcely afford, and has left me cold with awe at the unwavering skill and subtlety of the narrative. The sheer scope of the author's imagination, and the almost impossibly delicate poetic weight of his prose, has made the discovery of William Luvaas' writing one of the genuine joys of my reading-year. He is a remarkable writer, comfortably among the finest at work in America today, and this novel is a towering and maybe career-defining achievement, art of the highest order.”–Billy O'Callaghan, Irish Book Award-winning author of The Things We Lose, The Things We Leave Behind
“Luvaas weaves elements of other genres into the narrative, such as slipstream and poetry and even the sci-fi trope of a boy and his dog, revealing this work in the final analysis as a complex bricolage, a marvelous literary stew which illustrates perfectly how the artist ‘shapes the beautiful and the useful out of the dump heap of human life.’”–Clare MacQueen, Publisher of KYSO Flash and editor at Serving House Journal
“Heat, flies, wind and even ghosts form the eerie landscape of Luvaas’s extraordinary collection about love, hope and the stubborn resistance of humans even in the face of doom. Jaw-droppingly brilliant and downright transcendent.”–Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of Pictures of You
“While comparisons to Cormac McCarthy’s powerful The Road novel seem inevitable, William Luvaas’s brilliant new collection of short stories, Ashes Rain Down: A Story Cycle, is a wildly inventive and epic comedy of prophetic visions, and a masterpiece of fiction for our own modern times.”–Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post “Book of the Year”
“The Style and mixture of voices used throughout these ten tightly linked offerings suggests Flannery O’Connor’s eccentrics channeling the apocalyptic visions of Cormac McCarthy.”–Duff Brenna, Los Angeles Review of Books
"In his second novel, Luvaas skillfully peels away the layers of deception in the Tillotson family to reveal three generations of trauma and abuse. A surreal and frightening air prevails, as guilt, aggression and madness escalate in this powerful evocation of family members coming to grips with their crimes against one another."–Publishers Weekly
"A mother drowning in alcohol drags her whole family down in William Luvaas’s powerful novel."–New York Times Book Review
"The Seductions of Natalie Bach is one of the best works of fiction about that pregnant decade [the sixties], comparable to Marge Piercy’s Small Changes and Lisa Alther’s Kinflicks. Luvaas recaptures the excitement of coming of age against a background of assassination, political activism, sexual experimentation, intellectual arrogance and generational conflict."–Newsday
William Luvaas has published two novels, The Seductions of Natalie Bach, Going Under, and two story collections, A Working Man’s Apocrypha and most recently, Ashes Rain Down: A Story Cycle, which was a Huffington Post’s Book of the Year and a finalist for the Next Generation Indie Book Awards.
William Luvaas’s essays, articles and short stories have appeared in many publications, including The American Fiction Anthology, Antioch Review, Confrontation, Epiphany, Glimmer Train, Grain Mag, North American Review, Short Story, Stand Mag, The Sun, Texas Review, The Village Voice and The Washington Post Book World. He is the recipient of an NEA Fellowship in Fiction and has taught creative writing at San Diego State University, The Univ. of California, Riverside and The Writer’s Voice in New York, and The UCLA Writing Program.