Tom Robbins: Novelist

“My goal has been to twine ideas and images into big subversive pretzels of life, death and
goofiness on the chance they might help keep the world lively and give it the flexibility to endure.”

Awards & Honors

"Golden Umbrella Award," Seattle Bumbershoot Arts Festival (1997)

Named one of the "Top 100 Writers of the 20th Century" by Writers Digest magazine (2000)

Willamette Writers "Distinguished Northwest Writer" (2001)

Novels & Collected Writings

Another Roadside Attraction (1971)

Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1976)

Still Life with Woodpecker (1980)

Jitterbug Perfume (1984)

Skinny Legs and All (1990)

Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas (1994)

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates (2000)

Villa Incognito (2003)

Wild Ducks Flying Backward (2005) — a collection of non-fiction essays, reviews, and short stories.

B Is for Beer (2009)

In addition, Robbins has published articles in Playboy, Esquire, and GQ.

Tom Robbins, Circus Banner
From Tom Robbins' circus banner collection.


La Conner, WA

Run time:



Novel, nonfiction




Blowing Rock, NC

Youthful influence:

His mother . . . and being rewarded for verbal precociousness.

Influential Book:

"I fell in love with books. I loved the way they look, the way they felt in the hands, the weight of them. The way they smell. I love everything about them."

Literary Habit:

Writes with "ink on wood pulp." When he is writing, has a date with his muse in his office every morning at 10 . . . although sometimes she stands him up.*

Low-Res Mobile Version of Interview

High-Res Version of Interview
(Embedded version below)

MP3 Audio File
(Note: To download the podcast,
right click on the link if you are on a PC,
control click if you are on a Mac. )

What more could be said about one of our favorite novelists of all times? Robbins' career began in 2nd grade as a journalist, and evolved into being named one of the “Top 100 Writers of the 20th Century” by Writer’s Digest, as “the most dangerous writer in the world” by a noted Italian literary critic, and as Willamette Writers’ Distinguished Northwest Writer in 2001.

It’s our honor to introduce you to the witty and generous Tom Robbins in a 36--minute interview we conducted over two days. (The interview should have taken only a few hours on one day — and that is how George learned the importance of flipping on the mike switch.)

Long, long ago, when George and Salli were courting, George would motorcycle from his cabin in the woods to Salli’s apartment in North Beach, San Francisco. And on many a romantic and memorable evening Salli would soak in a hot tub while George sat alongside, both munching on crackers, cream cheese and cheap caviar, sipping the lowest priced champagne money could buy, while George read aloud from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. More than once one of them would blow fish-scented bubbles out of their nose and bath water splashed from the tub because of the laughter, joy and surprising wisdom of this revolutionary writing.

Interview with Tom Robbins

"What I wanted to do in this world was to surprise, entertain and enlighten myself and others, by telling stories that had never been told, in a style that defied categorization."

author interview: Tom Robbins at work

. . . to Tom for the generous gift of his time, his hospitality, and for making us feel OK about our microphone mishap . . .

Tom and Alexa Robbins' dog blini

. . . and to Blini, who only barked a little, and let us fondly ruffle her furry feathers.

Tom Robbins birthday poster

Many thanks to the charming Alexa who gave us homemade orange squash and cookies while we invaded the Robbins' home . . .