Ray Robertson is an irrepressible voice, with brass balls, and a heart of gold.

— Jonathan Evison (author of The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving)

It’s 1979. Tom’s dad is the local tattoo artist, his mother is a born-again former stripper who’s run off with the minister from the church where the pet store used to be, and his sister can’t wait to leave town for good. And everybody along his daily newspaper route looks at him a little differently, this boy who’s come back from the dead, who just might be the only one who understands the miraculous, heart-breaking mystery that is their lives.

Set in the year that real newspaper headlines told of North America’s hard turn to the right, 1979 offers a small-town take on the buried lives of those who almost never make the news, and one boy’s attempt to make sense of it all.

Ray Robertson is the Jerry Lee Lewis of North American Letters.

— Chuck Kinder (author of Honeymooners and The Last Mountain Dancer)

Ray Robertson is the author of the novels Home Movies, Heroes, Moody Food, Gently Down the Stream, What Happened Later, David, and I Was There the Night He Died, as well as three collections of non-fiction: Mental Hygiene: Essays on Writers and Writing and Why Not? Fifteen Reasons to Live, and Lives of the Poets (with Guitars). His latest novel is 1979. Born and raised in Southwestern Ontario, he lives in Toronto.

When he describes the art and craft of these 13 artists . . . you can hear the tender vocals, the searing guitars, every one of their creative idiosyncrasies. And you can feel Robertson’s passion for the material in every word . . . he’s done meticulous research to learn their life stories and delve into their personal pedcadillos . . . boy, can he write.

–  NOW Magazine