Lay Your Sleeping Head

Lay Your Sleeping Head book cover
Forthcoming December, 2016, from Kórima Press.
Pre-Order Now

Thirty years ago, The Little Death introduced Henry Rios, a gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer who became the central figure in a celebrated seven novel series.

In a brilliant reimagination of The Little Death, Lay Your Sleeping Head retains all the complexity and elegance of the plot of the original novel but deepens the themes of personal alienation and erotic obsession that both honored the traditions of the American crime novel and turned them on their head.

Henry Rios, a gifted and humane lawyer driven to drink by professional failure and personal demons, meets a charming junky struggling to stay clean. He tells Rios an improbable tale of long-ago murders in his wealthy family. Rios is skeptical, but the erotic spark between them ignites an obsessive affair that ends only when the man’s body is discovered with a needle in his arm on the campus of a great California university.

Rios refuses to believe his lover’s death was an accidental overdose. His hunt for the killer takes him down San Francisco’s mean streets and into Nob Hill mansions where he uncovers the secrets behind a legendary California fortune and the reason the man he loved had to die.

Reviews

“In the new work, the relationships are more convincing and more layered than in the original. Lay Your Sleeping Head is, after all, a historical novel as well as a mystery. The re-imagination of the original novel…includes a fuller sense of its setting in the early 1980s, especially a more acute awareness of the events of the era that threatened LGBT people. The major thematic difference between The Little Death and the new work is the latter’s emphasis on inequality in all its forms. All great fortunes are built on the backs of others, Rios realizes, as he explores the source of the great railroad fortune at the heart of the mystery, which was built in part upon the exploitation and sacrifices of Chinese workers. As with other explorations in Lay Your Sleeping Head, the issue of inequality is more complex and multi-faceted than it might at first appear.”

— Claude Summers, The New Civil Rights Movement Web site

Learn More

Lay Your Sleeping Head

Lay Your Sleeping Head book cover
Forthcoming December, 2016, from Kórima Press.
Pre-Order Now

Thirty years ago, The Little Death introduced Henry Rios, a gay, Latino criminal defense lawyer who became the central figure in a celebrated seven novel series.

In a brilliant reimagination of The Little Death, Lay Your Sleeping Head retains all the complexity and elegance of the plot of the original novel but deepens the themes of personal alienation and erotic obsession that both honored the traditions of the American crime novel and turned them on their head.

Henry Rios, a gifted and humane lawyer driven to drink by professional failure and personal demons, meets a charming junky struggling to stay clean. He tells Rios an improbable tale of long-ago murders in his wealthy family. Rios is skeptical, but the erotic spark between them ignites an obsessive affair that ends only when the man’s body is discovered with a needle in his arm on the campus of a great California university.

Rios refuses to believe his lover’s death was an accidental overdose. His hunt for the killer takes him down San Francisco’s mean streets and into Nob Hill mansions where he uncovers the secrets behind a legendary California fortune and the reason the man he loved had to die.

Reviews

“In the new work, the relationships are more convincing and more layered than in the original. Lay Your Sleeping Head is, after all, a historical novel as well as a mystery. The re-imagination of the original novel…includes a fuller sense of its setting in the early 1980s, especially a more acute awareness of the events of the era that threatened LGBT people. The major thematic difference between The Little Death and the new work is the latter’s emphasis on inequality in all its forms. All great fortunes are built on the backs of others, Rios realizes, as he explores the source of the great railroad fortune at the heart of the mystery, which was built in part upon the exploitation and sacrifices of Chinese workers. As with other explorations in Lay Your Sleeping Head, the issue of inequality is more complex and multi-faceted than it might at first appear.”

— Claude Summers, The New Civil Rights Movement Web site

Learn More

From The Blog

  • Porfirio Diaz, Dictator of Mexico
  • Montezuma, Centennial parade, 1910
  • Corpses burned on the street, 1912
  • Colonial palace
  • Cargador
  • Beggar woman
  • Carmen Diaz, the Dictator's wife
  • View from Mexico City, 1910
  • Street prophet
  • Colonial church
  • Avenida de San Francisco
  • Suburban street
  • Francisco I. Madero, the Apostle of Freedom
  • Pulqueria
  • Cortez, Centennial parade, 1910
  • The great plaza
  • Girl soldier, 1913
  • The mounted police
  • Xochimilco, the floating gardens
  • The National Palace at night, 1910
  • The Ten Tragic Days, 1913
  • The National Palace by day, 1900
  • Paseo de la Reforma

The Henry Rios Novels   "An exceptional series" –New York Times Book Review