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Nevada Writers Hall of Fame: Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin

Willy Vlautin – 2016 Nevada Writers Hall of Fame

Willy Vlautin was born in Reno and became a guitar player and song writer while in his teens. He founded the alternative country band Richmond Fontaine in 1994, which has been well received in Europe and has produced studio albums, live recordings, and extended play recordings. He formed his second band, The Delines, in 2014 with vocalist Amy Boone, continuing in the role of song writer and guitarist. His spare writing style conveys bleakness in both his songs and novels as he portrays the realities of often invisible Americans. “The only thing you can do … is get up every morning and try to do a little bit better than you did the day before …”

Bibliography for Willy Vlautin

Books, Chapters, and Stories

Ballade pour Leroy: roman. Paris: Albin Michel, 2016. [French translation of The Free]

La ballata di Charley Thompson. Milano: Mondadori, 2014. [Italian translation of Lean on Pete] Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center.

“The Boy Who Could Not Be Scared,” in Bernheimer, Kate, ed. Brothers & Beasts: An Anthology of Men on Fairy Tales. Detroit: Wayne State University Press, 2007; pp. 178-181. Available: Knowledge Center PS 153 .M33 B76 2007

Cheyenne en automne: roman. Paris: 13e Note Editions, 2012. [French translation of Lean on Pete]. Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center.

“Demeter and Persephone: Kid Collins,” in Xo Orpheus: Fifty New Myths. Bernheimer, Kate, ed. New York: Penguin Books, 2013; pp. 159-164.

The Free. New York: Harper Perennial, 2014. [Also e-book]

The Free: a novel. [sound recording], 2014.

Die Freien: Roman. Berlin: Berlin-Verlog., 2015. [German translation of The Free]

De fria roman. Lund: Bakhall, 2014. Johanneshov: MTM, 2014. [Sound Recording]. [Swedish translation of The Free]

A Jockey’s Christmas. El Cortez Records, 2008. [sound disc]

Lean on Pete. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010.

Lean on Pete: roman. Bakhall; Johanneshov: MTM [book and audio book, Swedish translation]

Lean on Pete: Roman. Berlin: Bloomsbury Kinderbucher & Jugendbucher, 2010. [German translation of Lean on Pete]. Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center

“Lorna.” Tin House. Vol. 14, no. 1.

De ruwe weg. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2011. [Dutch translation of Lean on Pete]

The Motel Life. New York. Harper Perennial, 2006.

The Motel Life [video recording]. Random Media, 2013. Available: Multimedia Center, Knowledge Center: DVD 5170 and in Special Collections.

Motel life. Roma: Fazi, 2008. [Italian translation of The Motel Life]

Motel life: Roman. Berlin: Berlin-Verlog, 2008. [German translation] Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center.

Motel life: roman. Paris: J’ai lu, 2012. [French translation of The Motel Life]

"My Nevada: Christmas in McDermitt, Winnemucca, and Elko," in Schumacher, Geoff, ed. Nevada 150 Years in the Silver State. Las Vegas: Stephens Press, 2014; p. 100.

Noordwaarts. Amsterdam: Nijgh & Van Ditmar, 2013. [Dutch translation of Northline]

Norrut: roman. Lund: Bakhall, 2012. [Swedish translation of Northline]

Northline. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008. Available: Special Collections

Northline: a novel [sound recording]. New York: Harper Perennial, 2008. Available: Knowledge Center PS 3622 .L38 N67 2008 Sound Disc

Northline: leicht gekurzte, inszenierte Lesung. Dusseldorf Patmos Audio, 2009. [German translation of Northline, audiobook]

Plein nord: roman. Paris: Albin Michel, 2010. [French translation of Northline] Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center.

“Portland Meadows Racetrack,” in Crowe and Oltermann, eds. How I Write: the Secret Lives of Authors. New York: Rizzoli, 2007. Available: Knowledge Center PN 165 .H69 2007

“Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before,” in Please: Fiction Inspired by the Smiths. New York: Harper Perennial, 2010. Available: Knowledge Center and Special Collections: PR 1309 .M88 P543 2010

Toen we nog deden alsof de snelweg een rivier was. [S.l.]: Van der Kruis, 2010. [Dutch translation of Northline]

UA Prose Series: Willy Vlautin [reading, 2015]. Tucson: University of Arizona Poetry Center, 2015. [video recording]

Vida de motel. Bogota: Editorial Norma, 2008. [Spanish translation of The Motel Life] Available: Special Collections, Knowledge Center.

Vrij: roman. Amsterdam: Meulenhoff, 2014. [Dutch translation of The Free]

Willy Vlautin Collection. Harper Perennial, 2014.

Music

Blankets: Recordings for the I. Portland, OR: FILMguerrero, 2004. Sound disc. Available: Special Collections and Multimedia Center

Colfax [Delines musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2014. Sound recording. Available: Special Collections and Multimedia Center

$87 and a Guilty Conscience That Gets Worse the Longer I Go [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2007.

The High Country [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2011.

Live at the Doug Fir Lounge [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2005.

Lost Son [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2004.

Miles From [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. Cavity Search, 1997.

Post to Wire [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2003

Postcard from Portland: Live at Dante’s [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2010

Safety [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. Cavity Search, 1997.

We Used to Think the Freeway Sounded Like a River. [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2009

Winnemucca [Richmond Fontaine musical group]. El Cortez Records, 2002

Biographical Sources and Critical Response

“Americana Chart.” Maverick. Issue 78 (January 2009), p. 5.

Baker, Jeff. “His Sad Stories Didn’t Sell, Nor Did His Music. Willy Vlautin Persevered.” Oregonian (April 22, 2007).

“BIR Booknotes.” The Boston Irish Reporter (June 2006), p. 29.

Bowie, Chas and Alison Hallett. “Book Lovers Unite!” The Portland Mercury (November 8, 2007), p. 13.

Cage, Caleb. [interview]. Nevada (Nov.-Dec. 2008).

Caraeff, Ezra A. “The Jockey’s Lament.” The Portland Mercury (November 27, 2008), p. 16.

Caraeff, Ezra A. “Once More with Feeling.” The Portland Mercury (December 24, 2009), p. 22.

Collis, Clark. Entertainment Weekly (June 1, 2007), p. 68.

Contemporary Authors. Detroit: Gale, 2008. [Online via Literature Resource Center]

Diamond, Austen. “Syntax Scientist.” Salt Lake City Weekly (June 17, 2010), p. 62.

Dicks, Brett L. “Myths and Legends.” Santa Barbara Independent (July 6, 2006), p. 59.

Dowell, Jennifer M. “Willy Vlautin.” Audio File Issue 5 (Feb/Mar 2014), p. 72.

The Free – Reviews

  • Audio File Magazine (April-May 2014)
  • Booklist (February 15, 2014)
  • Eugene Weekly (December 11, 2014)
  • Kirkus Reviews (Nov. 15, 2013)
  • New Statesman (March 14, 2014)
  • New York Times Book Review (March 23, 2014)
  • Portland Mercury (January 8, 2014)
  • Publishers Weekly (October 7, 2013)

Fusilli, Jim. “Finding a Voice for His Darker Side.” Wall Street Journal, eastern ed. Vol. 264, no. 8 (July 10, 2014), p. D4.

Green, Joshua. “Richmond Fontaine: Winnemucca (El Cortez).” Westword [Denver, CO]. (February 28, 2002).

Hallett, Alison. “Thinking Outside the Book.” The Portland Mercury (October 7, 2010)

Harris, Emily. Northwest Passages: Willy Vlautin. Think Out Loud [radio program]. Oregon Public Broadcasting (April 23, 2010)

Holabird, Robin. Elvis, Marilyn, and the Space Aliens: Icons on Screen in Nevada. Reno: University of Nevada Press, 2017.

Horton, Jay and Mark Baumgarten. “365 Days, 52 Weeks, 12 Months, 1 Scene.” Willamette Week [Portland, OR]. (August 3, 2005), p. 25.

Jones, Allan. “Richmond Fontaine – You Can’t Go Back If There’s Nothing To Go Back To.” Uncut. (April 11, 2016).

Kasten, Roy. “Thirteen Cities (El Cortez).” The Riverfront Times [St. Louis, MO] (July 4, 2007)

Lean On Pete – Reviews

  • American Libraries (Nov./Dec. 2010)
  • Bomb (Spring 2010)
  • Booklist (April 15, 2010)
  • Publishers Weekly (February 8, 2010)
  • The Portland Mercury (April 22, 2010)

Lennon, J. Robert. “What Makes a Writer Want to Rock Out?” New York Times Magazine (February 17, 2013), pp. 48-49.

Lippens, Nate. “Drunk by Noon.” The Stranger (October 22, 2003), p. 48.

Lombardi, William V. “It all comes together in … Reno? Confronting the postwestern geographic imaginary in Willy Vlautin’s The Motel Life.”Western American Literature. Vol. 48, no. ½; 2013; pp. 141-162.

Marshall, John. [interview]. Seattle Post-Intelligencer (May 5, 2008).

Mitchell, Barbara. “Shit Gets Weird Out Here.” The Stranger (October 5, 2011), p. 39.

The Motel Life – Book and Film Reviews

  • Booklist (April 1, 2007)
  • Eugene Weekly (August 16, 2007)
  • Kirkus Reviews (April 1, 2007)
  • KQED (May 1, 2007)
  • Library Journal (May 15, 2007)
  • New York Times Book Review (June 24 and July 1, 2007)
  • New York Times (November 8, 2013)
  • The Portland Mercury (November 6 and 13, 2013)
  • Publishers Weekly (February 26, 2007)
  • Reader [Chicago] (November 7, 2013)
  • Salt Lake City Weekly (November 7, 2013)
  • Santa Barbara Independent (October 24, 2013)
  • The Stranger [Seattle] (September 13, 2007)
  • The Stranger [Seattle] (November 6, 2013)
  • Variety (November 30, 2009)
  • Washington City Paper [Washington, D.C.] (November 8, 2013)
  • Willamette Week (January 5, 2005)

Northline – Reviews

  • Booklist (April 1, 2008)
  • Eugene Weekly (December 11, 2008)
  • Guardian (London, England). (March 8, 2008)
  • Independent (London, England). (February 22, 2008)
  • Kirkus Reviews (March 15, 2008)
  • New Zealand Listener (May 10, 2008)
  • The Portland Mercury (May 1, 2008)
  • Publishers Weekly (Feb. 11, 2008)
  • Telegraph (London, England). (February 22, 2008)

Rio, David. New Literary Portraits of the American West: Contemporary Nevada Fiction. Bern: Peter Lang, 2015.

Ross, Thomas. “Square Pegs.” The Portland Mercury (October 16, 2013), p. 37.

San Vincente, Romeo. “Steve Buscemi will ‘Lean on Pete’.” Between the Lines (July 21, 2016), p. 29.

St. Clair, Justin. “Soundtracking the Novel: Willy Vlautin’s Northline as Filmic Audiobook,” in Rubery, Matthew, ed. Audiobooks, Literature, and Sound Studies. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Schumacher, Geoff. "Clark, Laxalt lead growing roster of renowned Nevada writers," in Schumacher, Geoff, ed. Nevada 150 Years in the Silver State. Las Vegas: Stephens Press, 2014; pp. 197-198.

Sherez, Stav. [interview]. Comes with a Smile (Autumn 2002).

“Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This” – review

  • Weekend All Things Considered, NPR (February 27, 2010)

Taylor, Alan J. “Richmond Fontaine.” Maverick, Issue 89 (December 2009), pp. 46-47.

“Up & Coming.” The Portland Mercury (August 10, 2006), pp. 36, 39.

“Vlautin signs up for two more books with Faber.” Bookseller. Issue 5256 (Nov. 17, 2006), p. 13.

White, Ryan. “Barstool Blues.” The Portland Mercury (June 25, 2014), p. 38.

Willy Vlautin [Website].

“Willy Vlautin [interview],” Northwest Passages Series. Portland, OR: Oregon Public Broadcasting, 2010. Sound disc.