"My wife has gone to Marrakesh with her little French girlfriend, my car has broken down, and the villa we've taken for the summer is right up this hill."

An aging criminal reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith's The Talented Mr. Ripley receives threatening phone calls from a man who claims to be Cal Thornton, the young heir he thought he'd killed decades before on the island of Stromboli. Meanwhile, a dying thriller writer based on the famous lesbian author fights off an old girlfriend's smothering advances while stalking a young female performance artist, who was also once her lover, in a haze of violent obsession. TYLER'S LAST is an homage to Highsmith, the last years of her life, her work's obsessions and the twisting mythology that has tied them together. It is also the name of the novel she's racing to finish, a final goodbye to her down-and-out protagonist, and the Doppelgangers that stalk him. Both stories come together in Normandy and in Senegal in search of redemption for characters who have good reason to expect nothing close.

Advance praise

from John Casey:

"David Winner's new novel is a double pleasure -- for one, there is an engrossing thriller with an alternately hapless and capable scoundrel, flight and fight, twists and turns. . . The second pleasure is that that thriller is in the process of being written by an aging woman author who is transforming her own pursuits and betrayals in her fiction. This meta-move is clever, but it turns out to be much more than clever. She is, for all her high-handed treatment of her entourage, a memorably sympathetic and moving character. The two fictions reinforce each other resonantly. Bravo!"

from Ann Beattie:

"It's hard to describe David Winner’s fascinating and original book. On one level it's satirical, but as with any kind of comedy, its performance depends on our understanding the riff being done on very serious matters. Also, as the author knows, the serious and the satirical are by now often synonymous in people’s minds, our society has become so absurd. I kept thinking of Hitchcock, and the way he made his audience voyeurs. David Winner’s method is similar, though there’s more than a whiff of Tarantino in the Hitchcock homage, as well. It's riveting and funny, a sort of dazzling movie script that is a novel that involves another book within it. . . It comes at you cinematically, but with the advantage of a novel that alludes to literary models, as well. Its language is hipster shorthand for readers to absorb as they become spectators to the extravaganza, as the book, itself, expands into its political implications. Tyler is certainly the last person I would ever want to sit next to on an airplane."

from Elizabeth McKenzie:

"Fans of Patricia Highsmith will be enthralled by David Winner’s perverse homage to the author and her milieu. This novel casts a narcotic spell, leaving one savaged as well as tremendously impressed."

from Elizabeth Evans:

"With the magical plot of Tyler’s Last, Winner proves himself a son of Nabokov. An aging, maniacal author’s struggles to finish her final “Tyler” book are divinely echoed and, ultimately, wildly entwined with the actions of her even madder creation. Just finished this tour de force, and I’m ready to read it again!"

from Zachary Lazar:

"Tyler’s Last is both parody and homage, aimed not only at the Ripley novels of Patricia Highsmith but at their lost mid-century glamour. A comic and dazzling movie-in-words, Winner’s book shuttles us around the globe--Italy, France, The Netherlands, Senegal--in a gratifying game of illusion and counter-illusion, color and intrigue, all rendered with Nabokovian venom and glee."

David Winner’s first novel, The Cannibal of Guadalajara, won the 2009 Gival Press Novel Award and was nominated for the National Book Award. A film based on a story of Winner's played at Cannes in 2007. His writing has won a Ledge Magazine fiction contest and been nominated for two Pushcarts and an AWP Intro Contest. His work has appeared in The Village Voice, Fiction, The Iowa Review (upcoming), Chicago Quarterly Review (upcoming), Confrontation, Joyland, Dream Catcher, and several other publications in the U.S. and the U.K. as well as being included in Novel Strategies, a Pearson/Prentice Hall anthology for college students. He is the fiction editor of The American (www.theamericanmag.com), a monthly magazine based in Rome.

Tyler's Last in the media

"In my last novel (Tyler’s Last) about racist thriller-writer Patricia Highsmith and her most famous character Ripley, I tried to exhume some of the bigotry of the past that we tend to contextualize and ignore. For me, there wasn’t much question of forgiving or not forgiving Dorle (who, after all, had given me and still gives me so much), but I wonder how her beloved Europe could have seemed so romantic and glamorous while perpetrating such colonial horrors. And my whole conversation about past crimes and bigotry seems beside the point at a moment in American history in which our worst demons have stepped out of the shadows."
- David Winner at the Kenyon Review

"An elderly crime novelist's last work and a shady crook's errand overlap in Winner's (The Cannibal of Guadalajara, 2010) fictional nod to Patricia Highsmith. . . Winner's writing is intense, provocative, slightly perverse, and satisfyingly comic. The competing plots and the novel-within-a-novel format are propelled by an earthy and sexual literary voice whose wily sophistication is both coarse and unique. A brash literary thriller that plunges deep into the mind of a criminal and his creator."
- Kirkus Reviews

"...Those whose fondness for Highsmith is due in part to the satisfaction she took in depicting human beings as spiritually and psychologically deformed creatures will relish David Winner’s weird, compelling novel Tyler’s Last, an homage that positively bathes in the monstrous qualities she reveled in — and of late-life Highsmith herself, by most accounts a frankly awful person.

"The novel works kaleidoscopically, a story-with-a-story in which the two halves of the tale start out distinct and divided, then begin to splinter, sending shards from one into the other. Yet it always holds its shape, remaining structurally tight, and a page-turner to boot. . ."

- Electric Literature

David Winner on the Todd Haynes film Carol, Patricia Highsmith's legendary love life and the genesis of Tyler's Last at The Brooklyn Rail

Tyler Gore interview with David Winner at The Brooklyn Rail

". . .Juxtaposed with Tyler’s narrative, Winner tells the tale of Tyler’s creator, the Highsmith-esque surly 'old woman', making it quite clear that the old woman’s refracted view of her own life has a habit of materializing on the page, sometimes consciously, sometimes not. This convention dominates the book from a literary standpoint, ensuring that readers not only experience the excitement of Tyler’s unraveling criminal lifestyle (a lifestyle his author ultimately seeks to emulate) but the author’s love for her character, the fact that in many ways he is her, a literary fact that will be in some ways proven, some ways contradicted, as the story unfolds."
- Kurt Baumeister at The Nervous Breakdown

"The mind of an author is truly amazing. To most authors, the characters they write about are alive within the world of their mind and created with such passion and understanding that telling their story becomes a genuine relationship. Tyler’s Last, written by David Winner, is a complex and intriguing story about Eve, an elderly author whose brief romance with a fan has turned into an obsession of lust and cravings. Their connection created such an impression that it left such a wound upon Eve’s heart and mind she has never recovered from it. At the same time she is trying to complete the story of her ongoing book series that revolvs around her main character, Tyler..." - Portland Book Review

"'Tyler's Last' is like a great tribute band. At times, it captures what made the first band special, even surpassing it. At others, it illustrates flaws in the original music and lyrics. Over all, the riff is fitting" - Madeleine Johnson at The American

David Winner's Book Notes music playlist for Tyler's Last

More by David Winner

"Bated Breath" at The Good Men Project
"The Boys On The Side" at The Village Voice
"Loenora" at Joyland
"Radio Lima" at KGB Bar Lit
"My Lover's Moods" at vimeo

Stay tuned for more events and reviews

Oct 4, 2015

Oct 13, 2015

Word Bookstore, Jersey City

Nov 15, 2015

Sunday Salon, New York

Tyler's Last
David Winner
275 pages
$16.00 paperback ISBN 9781937402785
$9.99 ebook ISBN 9781937402990

October 2015

Or buy direct from Outpost19