contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.


5220 Dexter Ann Arbor Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI, 48103
United States

Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Temporary People, by Steven Gillis

Our Books

Temporary People, by Steven Gillis


Temporary People, by Steven Gillis


Publication Date: April 15, 2008
Paperback: 203 pages
ISBN: 978-0-976899-36-5
Trim: 8.7 x 5.4


Add To Cart


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.


"Minimalist-cum-fabulist Steven Gillis synthesizes nearly every Twentieth Century calamity from World War II to the Balkans to Desert Storm into this fable of the oppressed country Bamerita, which drifts about the seas unhinged from any continent. His idealistic and erudite hero finds his peaceful revolution thwarted and contemplates the holes in Gandhi s many aphorisms while his people are mutilated in grand spectacle on film. Temporary People is a vicious and compelling storyboard for our time." Jeff Parker, author of Ovenman

"As thoroughly dark and thoroughly humane as Vonnegut's apocalyptic novels like Cat's Cradle and Galapagos, Temporary People is a suspenseful tale about history, hope, oppression, and modes of resistance. Gillis's world is richly imagined, his voice is clear, and his plot is intricate, as is his moral. In fact, this novel seems much more interested in probing and dramatizing the deep philosophical paradoxes of revolutionary thought than in providing any pat answer. Here's a fable for our time, and for just about any other time you can imagine." Chris Bachelder, author of U.S.!


"Temporary People is Gillis’s fourth book and his finest work to date. Balancing world-building, a thriller-worthy plot, and high-end political dialogue, Temporary People is the kind of book that forces the reader to fight between turning the pages faster to find out what happens and slowing down to consider its arguments and to savor its sentences." NewPages

"Temporary People by Steven Gillis is one of the best novels published over the past few years." Bustill