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Seven Stories Press

Works of Radical Imagination

Book cover for Hotel Room Trilogy
Book cover for Hotel Room Trilogy

From the award-winning author and screenplay writer, a trio of one-act plays depicting the spooky, strange, and tragic passage of guests through the same New York City hotel room (number 603).

The tangible mystery of these stories is grounded in the peculiar relationships that unfold slowly, producing an unrelenting uncanny atmosphere. In each play, a family member has recently died and the survivors are left to deal with the consequences.

  • In "Tricks" Gifford approaches the psychological territory of Kafka. We meet two men looking for something more than just sex from a prostitute. Are the men two halves of a severed personality?  
  • In "Blackout" Danny and Diane, an Oklahoma couple of the 1930s, cannot move beyond the grief of a personal tragedy. Refusing to accept the death of her son, Diane seeks refuge in low-level deliriums.
  • In "Mrs. Kashfi" a young boy experiences a spooky visitation while his mother voyages into the sea of clairvoyance with a fortune teller.


Written for David Lynch's 1993 drama Hotel Room for HBO, two of these stories, "Tricks" and "Blackout" were nominated for the Cable Ace Award.

Book cover for Hotel Room Trilogy
Book cover for Hotel Room Trilogy

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“The dialogue has the evocative spareness of Pinter, and [the] control of mood [is] menacing, mesmerizing.”

“Gifford’s night people are a strange mix of utter weirdness and bedrock humanity, rampant eccentricity, and absolute individuality. Some things in life are beyond analysis, and Barry Gifford is one of them.”

Barry Gifford

BARRY GIFFORD’s fiction, nonfiction, and poetry have been published in thirty languages. His novel Night People was awarded the Premio Brancati, established by Pier Paolo Pasolini and Alberto Moravia, in Italy, and he has been the recipient of the Maxwell Perkins Award and Syndicated Fiction Awards from PEN, as well as awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Library Association, the Writers Guild of America, and the Christopher Isherwood Foundation. He has also been awarded the Ingmar Bergman Chair on Cinema and Theater from the National University of Mexico. His books Sailor’s Holiday and The Phantom Father were each named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, and his book Wyoming was named a Novel of the Year by the Los Angeles Times. He has written librettos for operas by the composers Toru Takemitsu, Ichiro Nodaira, and Olga Neuwirth. Gifford’s work has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker, Punch, Esquire, La Nouvelle Revue Française, El País, La Repubblica, Rolling Stone, Brick, Film Comment, El Universal, Projections, Cosmopolitan, and the New York Times. His film credits include Wild at Heart, winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Perdita Durango, Lost Highway, City of Ghosts, Ball Lightning, American Falls, and The Phantom Father. Barry Gifford’s most recent books are Sailor & Lula: The Complete Novels, The Up-Down, Imagining Paradise: New and Selected Poems, ;Writers, Southern Nights, Black Sun Rising / La Corazonada,and Roy’s World: Stories 1973–2020. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. For more information visit www.BarryGifford.net

Other books by Barry Gifford