Gerald Haslam


For those new to "the Bakersfield experience", let us initiate you by stating that reading Haslam is a must. An Oildale native, his writings always hearken back to his local roots. Armed with a Ph.D. in English, he has been called "the quintessential California writer" and "the most important writer to emerge from California's Central Valley since Steinbeck".

An incomplete list of his awards include the Western Literature Associations Distinguished Achievement Award, a Commonwealth Club Medal, the Western States Book Award for Fiction, the Josephine Miles Prize, the Benjamin Franklin Award, honors from the Bay Area Book Reviewers' Association, and the Bakersfield Centennial Foundation's Literature Award as Bakersfield's "Writer of the Century".

NOTE:  Dr. Haslam's local favorite "The Great Tejon Club Jubilee" is no longer available online, but is still in-store.  Call for details (661) 665-4686.


In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa Cover Image
$25.46
ISBN: 9780803237643
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Bison Books - November 1st, 2011

One of the most gripping images from the 1960s captures the slight figure of Dr. S. I. Hayakawa scrambling onto a sound truck parked in front of San Francisco State College amid campus unrest.


Grace Period: A Novel (Western Literature Series) Cover Image
$27.45
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ISBN: 9780874176797
Published: University of Nevada Press - August 22nd, 2006

Many Californias: Literature from the Golden State (Western Literature Series) Cover Image
By Gerald W. Haslam (Editor)
$41.94
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ISBN: 9780874173253
Published: University of Nevada Press - July 16th, 2014

Haslam divides the state into five regions, selecting prose and poetry from each that reflects their history, terrain, and culture. Many Califonias features sixty-seven authors ranging from Jack London to Maxine Hong Kingston, making it the most diverse general-interest anthology available. 


Straight White Male: (A Novel) (Western Literature Series) Cover Image
$18.70
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ISBN: 9780874173543
Published: University of Nevada Press - August 1st, 2000

BAKERSFIELD BESTSELLER at Russo's Books (2000) This award-winning novel is Gerry Haslam's first in 25 years (non-fiction & short stories having occupied much of his writing time). The story revolves around Leroy Upton, a Bakersfield native now living in the Bay Area. Leroy struggles with his aging parents, a friend's failing marriage, and his own teenaged kids, all while trying to be a dutiful husband and college professor. Haslam's gripping narrative includes strategically placed "reminence" chapters which artfully explore Leroy's past, thus helping us understand his present. "This superb novel confirms Gerald Haslam's standing as the most important writer to emerge from California's Central Valley since Steinbeck." Gerald Locklin Winner-2000 Western States Book Award for Fiction Second Place-2000 Foreward Magazine's Book of the Year Award.


That Constant Coyote: California Stories Cover Image
By Gerald W. Haslam, Ann Ronald (Foreword by)
$20.90
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ISBN: 9780874171617
Published: University of Nevada Press - May 1st, 1990

Haslam’s stories are of the quintessential California of working people who struggle to make a living. He is their spokesperson—no matter what their color or language—because he, too, has chopped cotton under the searing sun, has toiled on drilling rigs in fog thick as oatmeal, has lived in a house where Spanish and English mingled.