Rocker Josh Ritter to release first novel via Random House

Dylan-esque folkie Josh Ritter, 33, has signed on with Random House imprint The Dial Press to publish his first work of fiction, Bright’s Passage, in summer 2011. Ritter told EW, “It was while I was writing song for my new record, So Runs the World Away (coming out May 4th) that the story came into my head for Bright’s Passage.  Several of the songs on So Runs the World Away are fairly complicated narrative songs, so my first instinct was to try and make Henry Bright’s story into a song.  As I thought about it, though, I realized this was my chance to try my hand at a novel.” He added, “I’ve written lots of longer-form fiction before, but none that I’d ever think to show anyone.  I’ve always thought that one of the most important talents a good writer can have is the knowledge of when to share a work and when to leave it locked in your desk. Besides my songs, Bright’s Passage is the first work I’ve I wanted anyone to see.”

Ritter says that for him, songwriting and novel-writing bring the same challenges: “While the audience may not be in the room with a novelist, they still demand the same kind of attention as they do from the performance of a song.  They ask that you give them your full attention, that you are generous with your time and that you don’t over stay your welcome.  They give you their trust, and if they can tell your efforts have been for the right reasons, they’ll give you the room for whatever flights of imagination you’re willing to take them on.” Who does he like to read? “Muriel Spark, Pete Dexter, Dennis Lehane Stephen King, Mordecai Richler, Philip Roth and Daphne du Maurier and Flannery O’Connor. I like anyone who is willing to burn their own dollhouses down.”

Ritter, a favorite of EW columnist Stephen King, will be touring throughout the spring to promote So Runs The World Away.

Comments (8 total) Add your comment
  • Kyle

    Awesome! His music is great, and each song has its own narrative, so I am not surprised that he’s interested in writing a novel. I am excited to read this.

  • Laura

    This is awesome! Too bad we have to wait so long…this is going on my must-read list as soon as it comes out!

  • Fiona

    Very very excited by this. Possibly my two favourite things in the world, books and Josh Ritter. The title sounds absolutley great! I really must make a start on my own dreams of writing…xx

  • Michelle

    2011 Can’t come fast enough. Josh is amazing.

  • Lauren

    Fabulous…he’s such a talented lyricist–if it’s half as good as his average song it’ll be excellent!

  • Dania

    I fully intend to listen to this in the background while I read his book. It’s like a full immersion and when it comes to Josh Ritter that’s NEVER a bad thing.

  • Sarah

    Can’t wait…Josh Ritter is by far my favourite artist, a talented musician, gifted lyricist, adorable smile…who can resist his exuberance?! I’m smitten!! :)

  • Vince

    Josh in his song-writing has always been able to create wonderful, interesting vignettes where, in a few well-chosen words you were able to see inside someone’s heart. They are always interesting, distinct and meaningful. I have high hopes that same ability will shine in his first novel. Go Josh! (and come play Denver again, please)

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