Release Date: February 2018 (US, UK, Ireland, etc.)

A moving story about a young man’s search for belonging, DON’T SKIP OUT ON ME is an understated yet powerful exploration of identity and loneliness pulled from deep within America’s soul.

Horace Hopper has spent most of his life on a Nevada sheep ranch, but dreams of something bigger. Mr. and Mrs. Reese, the aging ranchers, took him in after his parents abandoned him, treating him like the son they always wanted. But Horace, ashamed of not only his half-Paiute, half-Irish heritage but also the fact that his parents didn’t want him, feels as if he doesn’t truly belong on the ranch, or anywhere. Believing that he needs to make a name for himself, Horace leaves behind the only loving home he has ever known for Tucson, where he aims to prove his worth as a championship boxer. Horace struggles to adapt to his new life in the city, and grows more and more isolated, withdrawing into himself as he struggles with the pain of his boxing injuries and his loneliness.

An instrumental soundtrack by Richmond Fontaine, which perfectly evokes the spirit and setting of this stunning and heartbreaking new novel, will be available for download.


‘Don’t Skip Out on Me is magnificent. Willy Vlautin is now one of America’s great writers.’
Roddy Doyle

Willy Vlautin will break your heart with his hardscrabble characters. He’s the champion of the marginalized, the traumatized, the lonely, and the bereft, ennobling and imbuing the most unlikely characters with a pathos and generosity generally reserved for saints. The world needs more Willy Vlautin, and Don’t Skip Out on Me is his best novel yet.”
Jonathan Evison

“Beautifully crushing and complete.”
John Doe

I’m smitten in the most remarkable way. I’ve fallen from the ground up for Willy Vlautin’s newest character, the half-Irish half-Paiute ranch hand turned boxer. Don’t Skip Out on Me is going to make your heart crumple into a little wad of paper and then open it back up into a perfect paper airplane sailing the skies from the hand of a boy. How does a a bi-cultural man find a self when he’s been abandoned by his parents? He invents it, that’s how, with his hands, his fists, and that fist-shaped muscle, a heart. No one anywhere writes as beautifully about people whose stories stay close to the dirt. Willy Vlautin is a secular–and thus real and profoundly useful–saint.
Lidia Yuknavitch