Barry Gifford’s diverse interests, varied influences, wide travels, and multitudinous acquaintances have fueled his prolific writing career. In a series of anecdotal reflections, Gifford relates many of the key experiences that shaped him as a writer: a nine-part dossier on the 1961 Marlon Brando film One-Eyed Jacks in which Gifford examines the public and private lives of those involved in the film, ultimately producing a kaleidoscopic and innovative framework for thinking about the movie; unique profiles of Artie Shaw, William Burroughs, Val Lewton, and B. Traven; and an essay about the making of an opera based on Gifford’s Lost Highway. Also included are the full text of Gifford’s stunning libretto for the opera Madrugada, a recounting of his work with Matt Dillon on Dillon’s film City of Ghosts, and much more. Book lovers will treasure Gifford’s compendium, titled “Read ‘Em and Weep,” of the books that have been most influential for him as a writer. Several titles are already regarded as classics of English literature, but many are by little-known authors that will surely provide hours of additional reading for Gifford’s fans.
Part memoir, part literary criticism, part free rumination on life and experience—The Cavalry Charges is a treasure trove of wisdom and insight.