Sundown, Yellow Moon

A Novel

Publisher: Random House Trade Paperbacks
Forty years after the suicide of his best friend’s father, a writer revisits the tragedy and tries to unravel the mystery behind one man’s inexplicable actions on that icy January day in 1961. Through his own recollections and his fiction–sometimes impossible to separate–he attempts to make sense of a senseless act and, in the process, to examine his youth, his connection to his best friend, Gene, and the enigma of Marie, a beautiful girl whose heart once belonged to both of them and whose spell still lingers through the decades.

Spare, haunting, lyrical, Sundown, Yellow Moon is a piercing study of love and betrayal, grief and desire, youth and remembrance. Larry Watson not only brings to life a distinct period in history but, most affectingly, reveals the interplay of memory, secrets, and the passage of time.

Praise for Sundown, Yellow Moon:

“Watson succeeds impressively, especially in deepening our understanding of first love.”
–Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

“A marvelous evocation of a time and place and of high school existence when it was considerably less ferocious than it is today . . . [Sundown, Yellow Moon] twitches aside the curtain to reveal the menace and mendacity lurking behind placid and mundane lives.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[An] oddly heartbreaking story: allowed to run amok, the past becomes a monster capable of devouring the present.”
Booklist

“Larry Watson takes the less-traveled roads, through landscapes and heartscapes vaguely familiar, intensely poetic and always jangling. . . . He has established himself as one of the leading poetic realists, painting his stories across the canvas of interiors: small-town America and the human heart.”
San Jose Mercury News, on Orchard

READ AN EXCERPT

Chapter 1
 Although I have devoted much of my life to writing stories, they are all, I have come to realize, part of a single story that has shifted and swelled over time but never strayed far from my core. I will call its beginning the January day when I was sixteen years old and walking home from school with my...
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READING GUIDE

1. What does Sundown, Yellow Moon say about the nature, source, and durability of young love?

2. Of the available possible explanations for Raymond Stoddard’s actions, which do you favor and why?

3. Each character seems to favor a particular explanation. What does that preference reveal...

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PRAISE FOR

“Watson succeeds impressively, especially in deepening our understanding of first love.”
–Alan Cheuse, Chicago Tribune

“A marvelous evocation of a time and place and of high school existence when it was considerably less ferocious than it is today . . . [Sundown, Yellow Moon] twitches aside the curtain to reveal the menace and mendacity lurking behind placid and mundane lives.”
–Minneapolis Star Tribune

“[An] oddly heartbreaking story: allowed to run amok, the past becomes a monster capable of devouring the present.”
–Booklist