The Man Who Came and Went, a novel of the new west, is a magically realistic story for the modern era that will tease your understanding and beliefs, and draw you into the mysteries of the universe, from the brilliant mind of Joe Stillman, acclaimed Academy Award nominated co-writer of “Shrek.” 

Fifteen-year-old Belutha Mariah, our storyteller, is the oldest of three kids from three different fathers. Her life’s goal is to keep her dysfunctional mom, Maybell, from procreating yet again and then to leave the coffin-sized town of Hadley, Arizona the second she graduates high school.

Along comes the new grill cook at Maybell’s Diner, Bill Bill, a mysterious drifter with the ability to mind-read orders. As word spreads in Hadley and beyond, the curious and desperate pour into this small desert town to eat at Maybell’s.

Some believe Bill knows the secrets of the universe.

Belutha figures he’s probably nuts. But his cooking starts to transform the lives of locals and visitors, and Belutha finds her angry heart opening, as Bill begins to show her the porous boundary between this life and what comes after.

In a normal American town, something new and strange, and yet achingly familiar, begins to unfold.

Purchase your copy here.


A deftly crafted work of original fiction by an author with an established expertise in storytelling, “The Man Who Came And Went” is an original, compelling, and entertaining novel that will have a very special appeal to fans of metaphysical fiction, magic realism, and coming of age fantasies. While unreservedly recommended for community library collections, it should be noted for personal reading lists that “The Man Who Came And Went” by Joe Stillman is also readily available in a digital book format (Kindle, $12.99). — James A. Cox, Small Press Bookwatch/Midwest Book Review

“I just finished your book, it’s phenomenal. I cried at the end, it’s a really really wonderful book. I’ve told all my friends about it and they’re all excited to read it when it comes out.” — Molly Likovich, Magical Molly

“Joe Stillman has brought us an ensemble of empathetic characters, all in the elusive search for happiness in this witty and poignant exploration of love, expectation, and mortality. I laughed, I cried, I loved it.” — D.J. MacHale, NYT bestselling author

“This is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I feel like I’m carrying these characters with me throughout my life. And that’s one of the hallmarks of a great story teller.” — Hank Garner, Author Stories Podcast


Author visits with Joe Stillman are available at NovelNetwork.com.