COATES CAPTURES CALIFORNIA PAST AND PRESENT IN TWO NEW WORKS
Two books by Dr. Lawrence Coates, chair of the English department, are being published this fall to acclaim. One a full-length novel and the other a novella, both are set in his native California, and both reveal veiled aspects of the Golden State, though in very different times and places.
"The Goodbye House," Coates' fourth novel, bears out the ancient Heraclitus' observation that "Nothing is constant but change." Cycles of prosperity follow times of need, landscapes are remade, and separation follows togetherness.
Set in San José in 2003 after the first dot-com bust and the tragedy of 9/11, "The Goodbye House" shows a family unraveling. "That sense of 'We're safe here' after the war is gone, and people no longer feel the same," Coates said. "The world we knew was called into question and shaken."