Bill Wittliff

Please join us this Wednesday as we talk with novelist & screenwriter Bill Wittliff about his new book “The Devil’s Backbone”.

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Set in wild and woolly Texas and Mexico in the 1880s, this engrossing tale of a boy’s search for his missing Momma is as full of colorful characters, folk wit and wisdom, and unexpected turns of events as the great American quest novel Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. – See more at: UTpress.utexas.edu.

Bill Wittliff grew up listening to stories and memories like these in his own family, and in this imaginative novel, they come to vivid life, creating an engrossing story of a Texas Huck Finn that brims with folk wisdom and sly humor. A rogue’s gallery of characters thwart and aid Papa’s path—Old Karl, hell-bent on bringing the boy back to servitude on his farm, and Herman, Papa’s brother who’s got Old Karl’s horse-trading instincts and greed; Calley Pearsall, an enigmatic cowboy with “other Fish to Fry” who might be an outlaw or a trustworthy “o’Amigo”; o’Jeffey, a black seer who talks to the spirits but won’t tell Papa what she has divined about his Momma; Mister Pegleg, a three-legged coyote with whom Papa forms a poignant, nearly tragic friendship; the “Mexkins” Pepe and Peto and their father Old Crecencio, whose longing for his lost family is as strong as Papa’s; and blind Bird, a magical “blue baby” who can’t see with his eyes but who helps other people see what they hold in their hearts. Papa’s adventures draw him ever nearer to a mysterious cave that haunts his dreams—an actual cave that he discovers at last in the canyons of the Devil’s Backbone—but will he find Momma before Old Karl finds him? – See more at: http://utpress.utexas.edu/index.php/books/witdev#sthash.XkPtPdmo.XDPtjmfI.dpuf