Gilvarry’s critically-acclaimed debut novel, Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant, follows Boy Hernandez, a Filipino immigrant and fashion designer whose American dream crumbles when he’s locked in Guantanamo Bay for alleged ties to a terrorist plot. Cited as a “love letter to New York,” the novel unveils the tantalizing and antipodal worlds of high fashion and homeland security, which overlap in this post-9/11 world.
The novel nabbed Gilvarry the Hornblower Award for First Fiction from the New York Society Library and Best New Voice 2012 by Bookspan. It also earned recognition from The New York Times, which listed the novel as an Editor’s Choice.
“It’s rare for a novel to tread so fearlessly into the political and yet to emerge so deeply funny and humane,” says novelist and satirist Gary Shteyngart. “Gilvarry is a young talent on the rise. Watch him gallop through the mess we’ve made of our civilization with style and panache.”
Gilvarry’s second novel, Eastman Was Here, follows a washed-up war journalist as he is tasked with writing a definitive account of the end of America’s involvement in the morally ambiguous Vietnam War, while navigating through his own existential crisis. Due out from Viking this August, the novel examines one irredeemable man’s search for meaning in the face of advancing age, fading love and a rapidly-changing world.
Gilvarry, who has received fellowships from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin and the Norman Mailer Center in New York, has had his essays and criticisms appear in The Nation, Boston Globe and NPR’s All Things Considered, amongst others. He is currently a professor of creative writing at Monmouth.