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Getting Down with Ryan Blacketter

Down in the River


As part of Treefort Music Fest's Storyfort, Boise author Ryan Blacketter will join a panel on publishing. The timing couldn't be better: In January, Blacketter's book, Down in the River, was published by Slant Books and it's receiving attention seldom granted to debut novels.

Down in the River, set in Idaho and Oregon--two places Blacketter has called home--is the story of 16-year-old Lyle. As the book opens, Lyle is mourning the death of his twin sister Lila, "who stopped her own breath in the river." The tragedy of losing a twin to suicide is compounded by Lyle's bipolar disorder and his religious older brother Craig, who sees Lila's suicide as having "brought hell into our home, as a test for us." Craig forbids any further mention of Lila's name, a catalyst for Lyle, who leaves home and sets out on a "heart-breaking and macabre" journey of discovery that takes him "along the margins of youth culture."

Boise Weekly will chat with Blacketter later this week, but he has already been interviewed by Paste Magazine, contributed a music playlist to the blog to go with the book, and has even had some film people show interest.