In the visual equivalent of sound bites, novelist and poet Gifford (Ghosts No Horse Can Carry, Port Tropique) cuts to the heart with sharply focused shots of young lovers on the lam. “You mark me the deepest,” says twenty-year-old Lula Pace to Sailor Ripley as they’re reunited after Sailor’s two-year stint in prison for manslaughter. Though it means breaking parole for Sailor, the two leave North Carolina to escape Lula’s fiercely disapproving mother Marietta, who hires a friend, short-story writing private eye Johnnie Farragut, to track them. Innocents on the road but wise to the needs of their hearts, Lula and Sailor tool along from Louisiana to Texas in a white 1975 Bonneville convertible, and, when the money runs out, land in Big Tuna, where Sailor will run afoul of the law again. Sweet and foolish, pure but ordained to be defeated, Sailor and Lula represent a bittersweet ideal.
Barry gives an overview of the book:
Barry Gifford’s novels have been translated into twenty-eight languages. His book Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati in Italy, and he has been the recipient of awards from PEN, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the...