Revolution is simmering in the heat of battered Central American town Port Tropique, where protagonist Franz Hall is an "intellectual Meursault in a paranoid Hemingway landscape, a self-conscious Conradian adventurer, a Lord Jim in the earliest stages of selfwilled failure" (New York Times). The ineffectual hero spends his days drinking and observing people in the zócalo, and occasional nights involved in an ivory-smuggling operation threatened by impending government siege. Always persistent are memories of Marie and what was lost. In this sinuous narrative of dislocation and remorse, Barry Gifford details Franz's mundanity and the bizarre cast of characters swirling around him.
"Gifford uses the charged story of … an apprentice smuggler as an occasion for his own literary and cinematic smuggling—from Conrad, Hemingway, Camus, John Hawkes, Howard Hawks, Welles and Ozu, among others—and to discover a new literary form." —The New York Times Book Review
"A poet's nuanced prose runs through Port Tropique … a spellbinding story." —The Washington Post
"A strange, disturbing … intriguing … impressionist painting of a book." —The San Francisco Chronicle
"Cut from the same cloth as Joseph Conrad's Heart Of Darkness and The Secret Agent, Graham Greene's Our Man In Havana and John Le Carre's The Tailor Of Panama … [Gifford] bends chaos in an orderly fashion and produces a superb reading experience. Nearly thirty years on, the novel's power is as relevant as ever … This is an amazing book, gripping from the first chapter to the last and is one of Gifford's finest works." —Pulp Pusher
About Barry Gifford
BARRY GIFFORD’s fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have been published in twenty-eight languages. His novel Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati, established by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia in Italy, and he has been the 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 books Sailor’s Holiday and The Phantom Father were each named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, and his book Wyoming was named a Novel of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. He has written librettos for operas by the composers Toru Takemitsu, Ichiro Nodaira, and Olga Neuwirth. Gifford’s work has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Punch, Esquire, La Nouvelle Revue Française, El País, La Repubblica, Rolling Stone, Brick, Film Comment, El Universal, Projections, and the New York Times. His film credits include Wild at Heart, Perdita Durango, Lost Highway, City of Ghosts, Ball Lightning, and The Phantom Father. Barry Gifford’s most recent books include Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, Sad Stories of the Death of Kings, Imagining Paradise: New & Selected Poems and The Roy Stories. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information visit www.BarryGifford.com.