Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Matt Love, Nestucca Spit Press publisher and author of Red Hot and Rollin': A Retrospection of the Portland Trail Blazers' 1976-77 Championship Season, is publishing a new anthology of Oregon writing called Citadel of the Spirit: Oregon’s Sesquicentennial Anthology. According to the official description of this 700-plus page book, it "contains 60 original essays by many of the state’s finest writers and 55 excerpts from primary documents related to Oregon history. The book’s official release is slated for February 14, 2009, Valentine’s Day, exactly 150 years to the day Oregon joined the union. The title derives from a quote by Ken Kesey, 'Oregon is the citadel of the spirit.' The artist Henk Pander has agreed to design the cover." The full list of the book's contents is here. A special hardback, signed, numbered edition is available for pre-order. The $100 price tag is steep, but goes to the worthy cause of getting this historic work published. I ordered mine today.
Empire Falls is Richard Russo's Pulitzer-winning story of the Roby family of Empire Falls, Maine.
Russo tells the tale primarily from the point of view of the recently-divorced Miles Roby. Miles struggles to make a go of the Empire Grill, get out from under the thumb of the town doyenne, maintain his relationship with his teen age daughter, settle a feud with a local cop, understand his parents, and overcome his fear of heights so he can paint the church steeple.
This is an engrossing, meaty read. It is a great, old-fashioned yarn, meaning it has a strong, coherent plot; fully-developed characters; drama; a reasonable tempo; and more than a few thought-provoking ideas. Thoroughly entertaining.
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