With a prompt from a Facebook friend, today’s blog post will highlight the bingo box of Oregon authors.
Heading the list is Ursula K. LeGuin who authored fantastic books such as The Left Hand of Darkness, The Lathe of Heaven, and the Earthsea series. Winner of multiple SF awards, she also won a National Book Award. If you haven’t read LeGuin, I suggest The Lathe of Heaven which is set in Portland, OR. and follows a draftsman, George Orr, whose dreams change reality.
Another of the pantheon of Oregon writers is Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which is a must read book if you haven’t already. Set in an Oregon psychiatric hospital, Kesey explores institutional processes and the human mind. Often picked as one of the best novels of the late-20th century, Cuckoo’s Nest is a chaotic character driven novel not easily forgotten. Yep, the movie was great, the novel is better.
Portland author Blake Nelson keeps writing great young adult novels uncovering aspects of youth, disenfranchisement, and the slacker generation. Thoughtful, telling, and empathetic, Nelson knows the milieu of what he writes about. His skate punk novel, Paranoid Park was made into a Gus Van Sant film. Look at his novels Girl, Dream School, and Recovery Road.
Another great Oregon author is William Kittredge who penned fantastic essays on the modern West. He has a pitch-perfect and poetic sense of the west that is heartfelt but never saccharin. He west is not quite lost, yet never remains the same. Look at Owning It All, and his wonderful memoir, Hole in the Sky: A Memoir.
Other Oregon authors worth reading: