Not many musicians garner as much success when turning their hands to literature as Willy Vlautin has. It is little wonder when one realises the Richmond Fontaine frontman’s lyrics were always short fictional slices of Americana. Vlautin will be appearing in a rare UK solo performance at the Anthony Burgess Centre where he will showcase both his writing and his music with a reading from his new novel, The Free, followed by a short acoustic set. That neither of these will feel like an indulgence granted to a successful author or musician is testament to the ease in which Vlautin can transfer his stories of ordinary people between the two mediums. His previous novels – Motel Life, Northline, and Lean On Pete – have seen him create stories about ‘ordinary people and the struggles they go through’, and have led to him being compared to the greats of American writing such as Carver and Steinbeck. Orange Prize winner Ann Patchet is a fan, stating, ‘the straightforward beauty of Vlautin’s writing turns a story of struggle into indispensable reading.’ This is a rare chance to see a true piece of Americana in the Manchester winter.

Fri 31 Jan, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, M1 5BY, 7pm, £6/£4 – sold out, email to be added to a waiting list,

Fri 31 Jan
Joe Daly
Published on:
Mon 27 Jan 2014