Elk River Books will host Livingston author William “Gatz” Hjortsberg on Tuesday, March 19, for a reading from his upcoming novel, Burning Angel, a sequel to his 1978 thriller, Falling Angel which was the basis for the noir movie Angel Heart starring Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet.
Burning Angel will pick up right where Falling Angel left off, Hjortsberg says, though he intends to move the setting from New Orleans to Paris “as soon as Harry makes his getaway.”
Falling Angel, Hjortsberg writes, evolved from an award-winning four-page high school story he spun as a parable, and was intended as homage to Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Ross MacDonald. Falling Angel was serialized in Playboy(winning that magazine’s coveted Best Major Work award), nominated for an Edgar Award, and printed in 15 different languages.
Hjortsberg has written many other books, and loves to cross genres. His most recent work was a leviathan that took him 20 years to complete. Jubilee Hitchhiker: The Life and Times of Richard Brautigan, was published in 2012 to great fanfare. The New York Times called it “an enjoyable soak in American literary bohemia, and a clear-eyed portrait of a man whom Mr. Hjortsberg aptly calls ‘a connoisseur of the perfect moment.’”
Hjortsberg’s reading is free, open to the public, and will be followed by a signing. There will be copies of Falling Angel, as well as the paperback edition of Jubilee Hitchhiker for sale. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at Elk River Books, 115 E. Callender St. in Livingston.