His entry begins:
I am constantly reading and my choices are varied, not only authors, but fiction and nonfiction, poetry, sciences. Recently I was pleased to read that Andre Dubus, a truly fine writer, begins his writing sessions by reading poetry. The depth of an image and a truly original metaphor, along with syntactical invention and attention to rhythm (musicality) of language is something I appreciate and informs my prose.About The Never-Open Desert Diner, from the publisher:
Recently I read Tijuana Book of the Dead, poems by Luis Alberto Urrea, who is a triple threat in that he writes fiction, nonfiction and poetry equally well. In this new collection of poems the conversational can suddenly bloom into a lyrical rose where even plain language, everyday speech, is marshaled into service of a metaphor. Urrea leads the reader into dangerous human territory with humor and...[read on]
A singularly compelling debut novel, about a desert where people go to escape their past, and a truck driver who finds himself at risk when he falls in love with a mysterious woman.Visit James Anderson's website.
Ben Jones lives a quiet, hardscrabble life, working as a trucker on Route 117, a little-travelled road in a remote region of the Utah desert which serves as a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. For many of the desert’s inhabitants, Ben’s visits are their only contact with the outside world, and the only landmark worth noting is a once-famous roadside diner that hasn’t opened in years.
Ben’s routine is turned upside down when he stumbles across a beautiful woman named Claire playing a cello in an abandoned housing development. He can tell that she’s fleeing something in her past—a dark secret that pushed her to the end of the earth—but despite his better judgment he is inexorably drawn to her.
As Ben and Claire fall in love, specters from her past begin to resurface, with serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Dangerous men come looking for her, and as they turn Route 117 upside down in their search, the long-buried secrets of those who’ve laid claim to this desert come to light, bringing Ben and the other locals into deadly conflict with Claire’s pursuers. Ultimately, the answers they all seek are connected to the desert’s greatest mystery—what really happened all those years ago at the never-open desert diner?
In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben learns the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. At turns funny, heartbreaking and thrilling, The Never-Open Desert Diner powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.
My Book, The Movie: The Never-Open Desert Diner.
Writers Read: James Anderson.