Roy is a lover of adventure movies, a budding writer and a young man slowly coming of age without the benefit of a father. Surrounding him - for better or worse - is the adult world of post-war Chicago, a city haunted by violence, poverty and the redeeming power of the imagination. Mixing memoir with fiction, the 42 short stories in Sad Stories of the Death of Kings bring a city - and a boy's growing consciousness - to vivid, unflinching life.
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.