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Haslam's Valley

Collection of Stories and Essays

Read a story from this book: What Horton Hatched.

Winner of the Josephine Miles National Literary Award, 2006.

     This career-spanning collection of fiction and non-fiction will introduce readers to Haslam's world: rural and small-town California, non-stereotypical and richly populated. His writing, like his perceptions, works against the Golden State's stereotype, so instead of tan blondes and hot tubs he writes of people struggling to survive--gritty Chicanos, Armenian farmers, Hmong laborers--in the midst of the richest agricultural region in the history of the world. Reviewer Jonah Raskin calls it "often ignored, largely forgotten landscape on the far side of the California dream."

     The fiction section of this book includes 23 stories about everything from a boastful bumpkin talking about his "vast-ectomy," to a Nisei veteran returning from World War II, to the last antelope and the last "wild Indian" in California. It begins with stories written in the 1960s such as "The Doll" and ends with previously unpublished material from the 2000s such as "Two-headed Man Hangs Self."

     The book's 12 essays range over topics as diverse as "Is California Part of the West?" to new personal essays such as "Very Es-smart" and "Death of an Athlete," as well as much republished pieces like "What Horton Hatched." Observes Raskin, "Haslam has that rare ability to write about places without ignoring their flaws and at the same time acknowledging their virtues."

Reviewer comments!

     "Gerald Haslam picks up where Mark Twain left off in this career-spanning collection of stories and essays brimming with life—only here is Kern County instead of Calaveras, Oildale instead of Nevada City, a great alligator hunt instead of a celebrated jumping frog."
Heyday Books

     While Haslam's stories entertain, his essays gesture at the sweeping diversity of the Central Valley and the richness of community to be found there. Here too is a darker side of California's heartland, where a Japanese family bids good-bye to an America they thought they knew, and where Okies are shunned as second-class citizens. Haslam tackles problems of racism, social class, and environmental issues that are plaguing the Valley, as well as crafting whimsical tales full of local color.

Haslam's Valley is available in paper and E-book from:
Devil Mountain Books, P.O.Box 4115, Walnut Creek, CA 94596. or

If you would like more information, then feel free to contact us:

The Haslam Family
P.O.Box 969
Penngrove, CA, 94951

Or by email at: