With $250 in his pocket and no employment prospects, John Jones flees the harsh Wyoming winter in his VW bus to search for a job and answers to life's questions. What he finds on that Texas beach is a bit of warmth and a variety of life from sand hill cranes to Maggie the dog. The beach also brings the companionship in a cast of characters who seem as adrift as he is--the Rainbow Family, Ben who yells at him, the ex-convict Mark, and Cathy, a woman he comes to care for. All of whom may or may not be real. In direct but leisurely prose, this semi-autobiographical novel explores a life on the margins of nature, society and sanity, giving us a vivid portrait of a life with schizophrenia.
"Figures on a Beach is not a pretty novel, not tied up cleanly with one thread and folded in the end; it is, instead, a real, substantial, thoughtful, and intelligent novel, and one that bares the intersection of love and longing, health and illness, and the desire to belong to something that the heart cannot quite identify." -Lori Howe, Editor-in-Chief, Open Window Review
Kirk VanDyke studied economics at Tulane University and the University of London, and has a PhD in biology and entomology from the University of Wyoming.