Award-Winning Novelist David Allan Cates Featured at SOL Literary Reading

By M. Fahey

Tom Connor’s Gift, (Bangtail Press, 2014), the latest novel by David Allan Cates, is a story about a woman’s love for two men. One is her first love and the other her lasting love.

SOL: English Writing in Mexico presents
David Allan Cates
Mon, Jan 26, 5-6pm
Paprika Restaurant
Ancha de San Antonio 9A
100 pesos
50-peso drink credit

“In this novel, I’d found two characters whose language allowed me to let them rip,” Cates explained. “Neither is coy. They are full-blooded, passionate. In fact, I often thought I was writing songs when I was writing these chapters.”

Cates will read from Tom Connor’s Gift as part of the 2015 SOL literary series on Monday, January 26, from 5-6 pm. The reading will be held at the Paprika Restaurant, 9A Ancha de San Antonio. The 100 peso admission charge includes a 50-peso credit toward a beverage. Proceeds assist the project J’Accuse, an outlet for voices speaking out against sexual violence.

The two main characters and the first chapter of Tom Connor’s Gift were created while Cates holed up in a rustic cabin in the Sun River Canyon of Montana. It took five years to write the novel, which Cates says is a story of grief, loss, and remembrances of things past

Growing up in Wisconsin, Cates headed for Montana in 1974 to attend the University of Montana, graduating in 1979 and earning his MFA in 1992. He first headed south of the border in the 1970s to learn Spanish, and he and his wife lived on a coffee plantation after college, where he could hone his writing skills. He has lived, worked, and traveled extensively in Central America for 35 years. During the past few years Guanajuato has gained his favor.

Cates is the author of five novels: Tom Connor’s Gift; Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home (David Allan Cates, 2012); Hunger in America (Simon & Schuster, 1992; David Allan Cates, 2012); X Out of Wonderland (Steerforth Press, 2005); Freeman Walker (Unbridled Press, 2008). In 2013, the Independent Book Publishers awarded Cates the Gold Medal for Best Fiction for Ben Armstrong’s Strange Trip Home. He is also the winner of the 2010 Montana Arts Council Artist Innovation Award in prose for his short story, Rubber Boy, which is a distinguished story in the 2010 Best American Short Stories. Hunger in America is a New York Times notable book, and X Out of Wonderland and Freeman Walker received Montana Book Award Honors. His stories have appeared in numerous literary magazines and his travel articles in Outside magazine and the New York Times Sophisticated Traveler.

Married and the father of three grown daughters, Cates is the executive director of Missoula Medical Aid and leads groups of medical professionals to work in Honduras. He also teaches classes on the short story in public high schools in Missoula, is adjunct faculty at the University of Montana and part-time faculty at Pacific Lutheran University’s MFA program.

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