For some time, Lay My Body on the Line was the only one of my books which was out of print. Now, thanks to the BackinPrint program of the Authors Guild, it is back in print with a stunning new cover and available on Amazon.
Written in an urgent prose, Lay My Body on the Line zeroes in on the San Francisco State student protests of the 1960s as seen up close through the unblinking eyes of Roger Leon.
Haunted by the suicide of a remarkable older brother whose memory he reveres, Roger, the all-American boy, is molded into a maverick. Packed with all the conflict, violence, eroticism, romance and raw play of ideas and passions that marked those turbulent years, this historically important novel brilliantly relates the story of one family in the heat of a seething American era that won’t be soon forgotten.
Acclaim for Lay My Body on the Line…
“There’s a distinct sense of paranoia pervading this remarkable little book. It comes on slowly and takes off with a rush, as if you had dropped acid 20 minutes ago and now found yourself undergoing questioning at a local precinct house. There is, too, a captivating urgency in the prose. It pins your attention to the action and drives you constantly on to the next page. Together, the two devices make the book both seem shorter than its 206 pages and very hard to put down. ..Leon’s paranoia is ..well-drawn and..grounded in the social reality of pot and the politics of the Bay Area in the 60s. ” Robert Hurwitt, Berkeley Barb
“…the first serious novel …set in the period leading up to and into the strike [at San Francisco State].” Stephen Arkin, San Francisco Bay Guardian
“When Andrew Young used the phrase ‘American political prisoner,’ people were baffled — how could there be political prisoners in this, the greatest democracy in the world? Berkeley author Floyd Salas understood. His latest novel, Lay my Body on the Line, is the story of such an individual, who in the late sixties found himself ‘caught between two forces of power, the police and the radical’ organizations, voicing a third view of freedom of democracy, of political power…’ Roger Leon is caught because his ideals prevent him from co-operating with the establishment or adhering to the ‘radical chic,’ who often sacrifice the means to the end… Lay My Body on the Line is not just another book about the sixties, but about a man trying to speak out in America and finding that it is not the ‘land of the free.'” Mary Walker, The Daily Cal
Lay My Body on the Line was originally published in 1978 by Ishmael Reed’s and Al Young’s iconic press, Y’Bird.
The sequel to this volume is entitled State of Emergency, published by Arte Publico Press in 1996.
“State of Emergency is a sequel to Floyd Salas’ classic political thriller Lay My Body on the Line. In both novels, Salas exposes members of a sinister parallel government out to undermine the liberties of American citizens. State of Emergency sustains Salas’ reputation as one of our top writers.” — Ishmael Reed