Black Lawrence Press

Temporary People

Temporary People

Revolution rocks and rolls. An ex-tv star seizes power and tries to turn daily life into an endless film. Temporary People is a political fable of the first order. Set on the island of Bamerita, a country whose, “history is like the rim of a wheel made to turn round and round, our political cycles nothing if not redundant,” Gillis third novel, following Walter Falls and The Weight of Nothing, Temporary People explores the human condition in all its most vulnerable exposures. A brilliant send up of modern life turned inside out by the inescapable powers of history and fate, filled with pathos and humor, Gillis deftly explores the complexities of survival and choice in a world perpetually on the verge of going mad. Sharp and satirical, a breathtakingly paced romp, the end will leave you drop-jawed and wanting more. Temporary People is a book for the ages and once again Gillis delivers.


  • "Gillis' writing is illuminatingly strange, filled with power, electric, and will stay with you long after you think you've gone to sleep."
    —Stephen Elliot
  • "Steven Gillis writes as if his life depended on it. His imagination creates a complete world: Dickens without the furniture. This great bustling book seems to embody all he knows and can intuit of the world. As common as the morning paper, as rare as piano music, Gillis' talent is transcendent."
    —Ben Cheever
  • "Steven Gillis adores language, grasps what makes and breaks a family, and loves to squeeze things until they shatter. He's the one catapulting your new plasma tv set down the street to see what happens. Richard Bausch and John McNally come to mind with a splash from John Cheever's clever martini. Most of these characters lives are train wrecks in progress. Yet you, dear reader, will get off on the surreal glow from their deer-in-the-headlight eyes."
    —Richard Peabody

Steven Gillis

Steven Gillis is the author of the novels Walter Falls and The Weight of Nothing, both finalists for the Independent Publishers Book of the Year and ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year 2003 and 2005. Steve's third novel, Temporary People, was published by Black Lawrence Press in 2008, and his fourth novel, The Consequence of Skating, in 2010. Steve's stories, articles and book reviews have appeared in over three dozen journals. A 6-time Pushcart nominee and 4-time Best Of... Notable Stories nominee, a collection of Steve's stories, Giraffes, was published in February 2007. A member of the Ann Arbor Book Festival Board of Directors and a finalist for the 2007 Ann Arbor News Citizen of the Year, Steve teaches writing at Eastern Michigan University and is the founder of 826 Michigan and the co-founder of Dzanc Books in partnership with Dan Wickett. All proceeds from Steve's writing goes to Dzanc.

Gillis Author page