| October 19,
He worked in New York City in social services.
After he returned and recovered from his injuries, including malaria and malnutrition, Vachss studied community organizing in 1970 under Saul Alinsky. He worked as a labor organizer and ran a self-help center for urban migrants in Chicago. He then managed a re-entry program for ex-convicts in Massachusetts, and finally directed a maximum-security prison for violent juvenile offenders.
In addition to the Aftershock, Burke, and Cross series, Vachss has written several stand-alone works. The first novel he published outside the Burke series was Shella. Released in 1993, Shella was the most polarizing of his works in terms of critical response. Vachss often referred to Shella as his “beloved orphan” until the 2004 release of The Getaway Man, a tribute to the Gold Medal paperback originals of the 1960s. In 2005, Vachss released the epic Two Trains Running, a novel which takes place entirely during a two-week span in 1959, a critical period in American history. In form, Two Trains Running presents as a work composed entirely of transcribed surveillance tapes, akin to a collage film constructed only of footage from a single source. His 2009 novel, Haiku, focuses on the troubled lives of a band of homeless men in New York City, struggling to connect with and protect each other. In 2010, Vachss published two books: his novel The Weight, is a noir romance involving a professional thief and a young widow in hiding. Heart Transplant, an illustrated novel in an experimental design, tells the story of an abused and bullied young boy who finds his inner strength with the help of an unexpected mentor. That’s How I Roll, released in 2012, chronicles the death-row narrative of a hired killer as he reveals the secrets of his past, both horrifying and tender.
Andrew Vachss is a member of PEN and the Writers Guild of America. His autobiographical essay was added by invitation to Contemporary Authors in 2003.
The Cross series uses distinctive supernatural aspects to further explore Vachss’ argument that society’s failure to protect its children is the greatest threat to the human species. In 2012, Vachss’ published Blackjack: A Cross Novel, featuring the mercenary Cross Crew, introduced in earlier Vachss short stories as Chicago’s most-feared criminal gang. Urban Renewal, the second novel in the Cross series, came out in 2014. The third in the series, Drawing Dead, was released in 2016.
After completing the Burke novels, Vachss began two new series. Vachss released the first novel in the Dell & Dolly trilogy, entitled Aftershock, in 2013. The second novel, Shockwave, was released in 2014, and Signwave, the final book, was published in June 2015. Radically departing from Vachss’ familiar urban settings, the trilogy focuses on Dell, a former soldier and assassin, and Dolly, a former nurse with Doctors Without Borders and the love of Dell’s life. While living in the Pacific Northwest, Dell and Dolly use their war-honed skills to maintain a “heads on stakes” barrier against the predators who use their everyday positions in the community as camouflage in order to attack the vulnerable.
Vachss has collaborated on works with authors Jim Colbert (Cross, 1995) and Joe R. Lansdale (Veil’s Visit, 1999). He has also created illustrated works with artists Frank Caruso (Heart Transplant, 2010) and Geof Darrow (Another Chance to Get It Right, 1993; The Shaolin Cowboy Adventure Magazine, 2014). Vachss’ latest graphic novel, Underground, was released in November 2014.
Currently, Andrew Vachss is 79 years, 8 months and 6 days old. Andrew Vachss will celebrate 80th birthday on a Wednesday 19th of October 2022.
Find out about Andrew Vachss birthday activities in timeline view here.