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"Everything I have to say about race and religion and politics is in the novels," declares Barry Gifford. The Rooster Trapped in the Reptile Room gathers generous portions of all thirteen novels and novellas, as well as first-person essays, generous helpings of poetry, journalism, and a new interview with the author. The broad contours of an episodic output emerge—a full-length view of the freaks and freakish incidents that populate Gifford’s unique human comedy. A world, as Lula, the author’s favorite of all his characters, reflects, "wild at heart and weird on top." The Rooster Trapped in the Reptile Room provides essential reading for anyone after the soul of American writing.