Tag Archives: literature

Novelist hatched bloody Western while on Bainbridge

Patrick deWitt grew up in Canada, spent years in California and now lives in Portland, but it was during his stay on Bainbridge that his two novels were born.

DeWitt caught the literary world’s attention in 2009 with “Ablutions: Notes for a Novel,” a not-so-fictional tale of his years of dereliction and drunkenness in Los Angeles.

Bainbridge is the place deWitt ended up to get cleaned up. He worked construction here, and began work on “Ablutions” sometime around 2005. He also began laying the groundwork for his latest novel, “The Sisters Brothers,” a dark comedy about sibling assassins hired to kill a man during the California gold rush.

DeWitt told the Edmonton Journal that his time on Bainbridge was a balance of physical labor by day and bouts of reading and writing by night.

“Like many writers, deWitt scribbles notes when some idea or narrative hook strikes him. A few years back, he’d written the words ‘sensitive cowboys’ on a shred of paper. That season on Bainbridge Island, his sudden passion for story found release in that simple raw premise for a novel,” Richard Helm writes in the Journal.

DeWitt doesn’t appear to be making a stop on Bainbridge to promote “Sisters Brothers” (Eagle Harbor Books doesn’t have him scheduled), but he making a visit to the University Bookstore in Seattle on Wednesday at 7 p.m. He’ll be joined for a discussion about his book by Bainbridge novelist Jonathan Evison.