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Chris D Portrait by Mark Vallen
Chris Desjardins came into City Lights Bookstore on November 28, 2012, to read from his exquisite new noir fiction pieces: Mother’s Worry and Shallow Water (A Southern Gothic Noir Western) (New Texture Books).
about Mother’s Worry:
The year is 1987, and outlaw Ray Diamond’s mother Lorna is the queenpin of a cesspool of crime and perversion in Mystic,
Georgia. When Ray is discharged from the Navy in San Diego, he absconds with a .45, planning to rob and drug deal his wayeast to his hometown. But when Ray arrogantly knocks over a mob-connected El Paso liquor store, he doesn’t count on the owner’s psychotic son Eli dogging his trail, and his life corkscrews deep into nightmare.
Back home in Mystic, Ray’s girl Connie Eustace resorts to stripping at Mama Lorna’s club to make ends meet. After
witnessing a murder by the local sheriff, she goes on a drug and drink bender, finally agreeing to courier Lorna’s payoff to
New Orleans crime lord Mr. Raindrop so she can flee until things cool down. Barely holding on until the long overdue Ray returns, Connie jumps from the frying pain into the fire.
about Shallow Water:
Post-Civil War, embittered Confederate veteran and sometime bounty hunter Santo Brady drifts from town to town in the rural Deep South. He reluctantly rescues half-breed Indian prostitute Lucy Damien from a backwater whistle stop only to have the whole world fall in on his head. They embark on a freight train-hopping odyssey to New Orleans, unaware that Lucy’s rich white father and psychotic brother from St. Louis are hot on their trail. Sidetracked by a band of sadistic train robbers, Lucy is kidnapped, and the wounded Santo goes on a harrowing mission to track her. Reminiscent of such classic period noirs as James M. Cain’s Past All Dishonor and Cornell Woolrich’s Waltz into Darkness, Chris D. delivers a tragic tall tale plunging headfirst into a wild heart of darkness.
what has been said about Chris D.s work:
“One sinister serpent of a story, an old Republic Pictures western serial scripted by James M. Cain and reimagined by Sam Peckinpah. I loved it. Dive in and wallow in Shallow Water.” —Eddie Muller, author of Dark City Dames, Dark
City: The Lost World of Film Noir and the novels The Distance and Shadow Boxer
“It takes a sick mind to write a book as thoroughly warped as Mother’s Worry. How lucky we are that Chris D has turned his pathological impulses to creative, rather than destructive, endeavors. This novel is of a piece with Chris’ work in music, film, and poetry — a crazy dive into a universe populated largely by monsters — and is a classic update of the Gold Medal/Lion Library loser-noir tradition. Great work, man.” – Byron Coly, writer for WIRE Magazine and co-author (with Thurston Moore) of NO WAVE: POST-PUNK. UNDERGROUND. NEW YORK. 1976-1980
“Mother’s Worry swaps midnight for high noon; Chris D. burns down the speakeasy and pool hall and drags the roman noir across the desert dirt beneath an unforgiving sun. This is my kind of crime novel.”
– Craig Clevenger, author of The Contortionist’s Handbook and Dermaphoria
Chris Desjardins is a writer, musician, and film historian. He is the author of the novels NO EVIL STAR and the collectionDRAGON WHEEL SPLENDOR and Other Love Stories of Violence and Dread, all from New Texture Books. His anthology A MINUTE TO PRAY, A SECOND TO DIE, a 500-page collection of short stories, excerpts from unpublished novels and scores of dream journal entries, as well as all of his poetry and song lyrics, was published in December 2009 from New Texture. His non-fiction OUTLAW MASTERS OF JAPANESE FILM was published by IB Tauris (distributed by Palgrave Macmillan in the USA) in 2005. He saw release of his first feature film as director I PASS FOR HUMAN, in 2004 (and its DVD release in 2006), and worked as a programmer at The American Cinematheque in Hollywood, California from 1999-2009. Chris D. is also known as the singer/songwriter of the bands, The Flesh Eaters, Divine Horsemen and Stone by Stone. He also was an A&R rep and in-house producer at Slash Records/Ruby Records from 1980-1984.
He currently teaches film genre and film history courses part time, commuting to San Francisco from his residence in Los Angele. Upcoming books include the long-in-the-works non-fiction GUN AND SWORD: An Encyclopedia of Japanese Gangster Films 1955-1980 and the novel VOLCANO GIRLS.