Smoke City (Paperback)
2019 IPPY Award Silver Medalist
2019 IBPA Ben Franklin Award Silver Medalist
Powell's Books Best Fiction of 2018
"Rosson is a talent to be watched." - Jason Heller, NPR
Marvin Deitz has some serious problems. His mob-connected landlord is strong-arming him out of his storefront. His therapist has concerns about his stability. He's compelled to volunteer at the local Children's Hospital even though it breaks his heart every week.
Oh, and he's also the guilt-ridden reincarnation of Geoffroy Thérage, the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc's pyre in 1431. He's just seen a woman on a Los Angeles talk show claiming to be Joan, and absolution seems closer than it's ever been . . . but how will he find her?
When Marvin heads to Los Angeles to locate the woman who may or may not be Joan, he's picked up hitchhiking by Mike Vale, a self-destructive alcoholic painter traveling to his ex-wife's funeral. As they move through a California landscape populated with "smokes" (ghostly apparitions that've inexplicably begun appearing throughout the southwestern US), each seeks absolution in his own way.
In Smoke City, Keith Rosson continues to blur genre and literary fiction in a way that is in turns surprising, heartfelt, brutal, relentlessly inventive, and entirely his own.
Keith Rosson lives in Portland, Oregon, and is the author of the novels The Mercy of the Tide and Smoke City. His short fiction has appeared in Cream City Review, PANK, December, the Nervous Breakdown, and more. A fierce advocate of public libraries and non-ironic adulation of the cassette tape, he can be found at keithrosson.com.