Larry Watson, author of As Good As Gone

Event date: 
Thursday, June 23, 2016 - 7:00pm

A Room of One's Own is proud to welcome Larry Watson for a reading and book signing from his excellent new novel, As Good As Gone.

Calvin Sidey, steely, hardened, with his own personal code, is one of the last cowboys. It’s the 1960s, and he’s living off the grid in a trailer on the prairie when his adult son, Bill, seeks his help. A mostly absentee father and grandfather, Calvin nevertheless agrees to stay with his grandchildren for a week. He decamps for his son’s house in the small town where he once was a mythic figure, and soon enough problems arise: a boy’s attentions to seventeen-year-old Ann are increasingly aggressive, and a group of reckless kids portend danger for eleven-year-old Will. Calvin only knows one way to solve a problem: the Old West way, in which ultimatums are issued and your gun is always loaded.

In the changing culture of the 1960s, Calvin isn’t just a relic; he’s a wild card. At the same time, his old-school ways exert a powerful effect on those around him, from the widowed neighbor, Beverly Lodge, who feels herself falling for him and wants to be part of his life, to his grandchildren. Ann and Will see in their grandfather a man who brings a sudden, if shocking, order to their lives, as Calvin terrorizes those who have often terrorized them.

With the crisp, restrained prose for which Larry Watson is revered, As Good as Gone is a story of a man increasingly at odds with the world. This is Larry Watson at his best.

Larry Watson is the author of the novels IN A DARK TIME; MONTANA 1948; WHITE CROSSES; LAURA; ORCHARD; SUNDOWN, YELLOW MOON; and AMERICAN BOY; LET HIM GO; the fiction collection JUSTICE; and the chapbook of poetry LEAVING DAKOTA. Watson's fiction has been published in ten foreign editions, and has received prizes and awards from Milkweed Press, Friends of American Writers, Mountain and Plains Booksellers Association, New York Public Library, Wisconsin Library Association, Critics' Choice, and The High Plains Book Award.

Watson taught writing and literature at the University of Wisconsin/​Stevens Point for 25 years before joining the faculty at Marquette University in 2003 as a Visiting Professor. He and his wife Susan live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. They have two daughters, Elly and Amy, and two grandchildren, Theodore and Abigail.

Event address: 
315 W. Gorham St.
Madison, WI 53703-2218
As Good as Gone Cover Image
$26.95
ISBN: 9781616205713
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Algonquin Books - June 21st, 2016