A haunting, funny, and masterfully written debut crime novel, about a remote region of the Utah desert where people go to escape their past, and a truck driver who finds himself at risk when he falls in love with a mysterious woman
THE NEVER-OPEN DESERT DINER
by James Anderson
Crown, March 2016
“High, dry and severely beautiful…a wondrously strange novel. »–Marilyn Stasio, New York Times Book Review
« Anderson’s first novel is a great one… You have not read a book like The Never-Open Desert Diner in a long time, if ever. Once you open its pages you will know you are in for something surprisingly enjoyable. »—The Huffington Post
Ben Jones lives a life of quiet and relative solitude, working as a trucker in one of the most beautiful and desolate areas of the Utah desert, which has become a haven for fugitives and others looking to hide from the world. But when he meets Claire, a mysterious woman he finds playing a cello in an abandoned housing development, he is drawn into a love affair that has serious and life-threatening consequences not only for them both, but for others who have made this desert their sanctuary. Ultimately their passion reignites a decades-old tragedy at a roadside café referred to by the locals as The Never-Open Desert Diner. In this unforgettable story of love and loss, Ben must learn the enduring truth that some violent crimes renew themselves across generations. The Never-Open Desert Diner is a unique blend of literary mystery and noir fiction that powerfully evokes an unforgettable setting and introduces readers to a cast of characters who will linger long after the last page.
James Anderson is a graduate of Reed College, and received his MFA in creative writing from Pine Manor College. His short fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in many magazines, including The Bloomsbury Review, New Letters, Solstice Magazine, Northwest Review, Southern Humanities Review and others, and he previously served as the publisher and editor-in-chief of Breitenbush Books. The Never-Open Desert Diner is his first novel and was originally published by a very small press called Caravel.