Under the Table Books


Ruby & Spear (1996)

rubyandspear | Under the Table Books

"A luminous novel that burns with the emotional depth and intelligence of its memorable characters."

—Bob Spitz

I published Ruby & Spear in 1996, ten years after my previous novel Night Train was published. I had written three major novels and two large collections of short stories in that time that no New York house would touch, and so the sale of Ruby & Spear to Bantam was a major event in my life.

Ruby & Spear is a favorite among my most devoted readers — even for those who are not basketball fans. Women especially like this book, the women characters being wonderfully strong. And almost everyone who reads the book tells me, "This would make a fantastic movie."

Alas, this novel was remaindered (taken out of print) the same week it was published, and just a few days BEFORE it got a very nice miniature review in The New York Times. It was never distributed beyond a few bookstores, and never advertised. A prescient woman working for Oprah's film company was interested in the book for a few weeks but could find no support for the project among her more mainstream comrades.

At this point, one might deduce from my experience that New York publishers are hellbent on killing good original fiction rather than publishing it, and I would not argue with that deduction. Now that the takeover of the industry by corporate lackeys and literary agents with the modus operandi of real estate agents is complete, there are few if any editors therein who will even try to take a chance on writers with original visions.


Copies of Ruby and Spear can be found on the internet (such as Amazon) for bargain prices.

The audiobook edition of this novel, with original piano interludes by Todd, is now available on audible.com.
You can listen to a substantial sample on the Listen Page.


Under the Table Books
Box 366
Mendocino, CA 95460


website by Garth Hagerman