Richard Wiley


Richard Wiley's fourth novel is a richly layered exploration of cultural awareness, moral conflict and racial identity. Set in Nigeria during four eventful weeks in 1983, Indigo portrays a country stalled at a crossroads, with two factions competing to determine which will oust an inept civilian government. On one side is a cabal of military officers, on the other a group of idealistic nationalists led by a charismatic intellectual from a remote village. But for Dr. Jerry Neal, the white, middle-aged widower from the United States who is the principal of a private international school in Lagos, this offstage jockeying is something he does not learn about until a series of nightmarish events penetrates his previously orderly world. Neal is charged with a crime that has clearly been fabricated to create an international incident. Released on his own recognizance after several unspeakable days in confinement, he attempts to flee the country, only to be drawn farther into the unfolding drama. A brief sojourn in the countryside with some remarkably eloquent dissidents leads to a bittersweet epiphany. And, as another bow toward Franz Kafka, there is even a metamorphosis of sorts. Mr. Wiley, who won the 1987 PEN/​Faulkner Award for his first novel, Soldiers in Hiding, has used this new one to combine provocative themes with solid storytelling. The result is a memorable work.
- New York Times


On St. Patrick’s Day in 1968, sixteen people sit in Pat’s Tavern, drink green beer, flirt, rib each other, and eventually go home in (mostly) different directions. In the stories that follow, which span 1958 to the present, Richard Wiley pops back into the lives of this colorful cast of characters—sometimes into their pasts, sometimes into their futures—and explores the ways in which their individual narratives indelibly weave together. At the heart of it all lies Tacoma, Washington, a town full of eccentricities and citizens as unique as they are universal. The Tacoma of Tacoma Stories might be harboring paranoid former CIA operatives and wax replicas of dead husbands, but it is also a place with all the joys and pains one could find in any town, anytime and anywhere.
Dr. Ruby Okada meets Bob Stevenson, a charming man with a Scottish accent, in the elevator of her psychiatric hospital. Unaware that he is an escaping patient, she falls under his spell, and her life and his are changed forever by the time they get to the street.
Ruth Rhodes is suddenly confronted by the man who raped her four years earlier, and must come clean with both herself and her husband, while he negotiates the grief and mystery surrounding the murder of his own mother. The rapist, meanwhile, stands atop this narrative, telling his side of the story in diabolically captivating ways.
Two American minstrels visit Japan and get caught in Machiavellian machinations at the opening of the country in 1854.
American Jazz musicians drafted into the Japanese army during World War II. Pen/Faulkner Award winner.
World travelers meet and clash in Nome, Alaska at the end of the 19th Century.
The raucous tale of a mid-1960s Peace Corps Volunteer living in a Korean Village.
American school principal involves himself in Nigerian intrigue and politics.
Ivory and animals on a Kenyan farm. Out of Africa in the modern age.

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