Saturday, June 19, 2004

Roy Parvin

There is a paragraph in Northern California author Roy Parvin's novella Betty Hutton that may just sum up thematically the intent of his work thus far. The protagonist, Gibbs, is a troubled man with a history of finding trouble:

But it was what stood at his back, the ocean of land behind Gibbs, that pulled at him like a tide. He'd never been farther west than the eastern fringe of Pennsylvania, had never been anywhere. He'd heard about Montana, though, a place that sounded like everything hadn't yet been decided, where there still might be some time left. A cellmate had told him of the chinooks, the southerly winds capable of turning winter into spring in a matter of hours, sometimes a ninety-degree temperature swing, and it had seemed to Gibbs lying in their dank cement crib, it seemed as if such a thing as the chinooks was possible, anything was.

One has to wonder whether if, in the crucible of our current troubled times, the threadbare cliché of personal redemption in literature, let alone in real life, has become almost meaningless. Roy Parvin's well-drawn characters and elegant prose seem to hold out the promise that there are possibilities, at the very least.

Roy's name may not yet be a household name, but he seems to be moving in that direction. His work is receiving numerous prestigious awards and he was granted a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in December 2003. He splits his time between households in the Bay Area and the Trinity Alps, which provide many of the settings for his work. His book of short stories, the Loneliest Road in America, came out in 1997, and his three novellas "In The Snow Forest" was published in 2000. He is currently writing a novel.

Please welcome Roy Parvin...

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