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Fiction

Fall 2017

Where the trouble began

“Fiction is a document of trouble,” says novelist James Thayer ’71. The trouble began for Thayer as a teenager reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula on his father’s wheat farm in Almira.

“The narrator sees the Count leap to a window frame—and then crawl down the exterior of the castle wall like a lizard!” Thayer exclaims. “That scene scared me to death! It was a revelation as to the power of fiction.”

Now, decades later, the Seattle-based author of 14 novels teaches fiction writing through the University of Washington’s continuing education program.

“The main thing that keeps people from writing a novel is that it … » More …

Stephen B. Smart
Fall 2017

The accidental novelist

What began as a way to avoid going stir crazy while recuperating from a nearly fatal equestrian accident has become an award-winning western genre trilogy that blends suspenseful mystery and the allure of lost fortunes with good old-fashioned frontier fortitude.

Landscape architect STEPHEN B. SMART ’75 calls himself an unlikely novelist. He’s spent most of his life outdoors, designing everything from elaborate gardens and water features to a driveway gate cleverly concealed to appear as a fallen ponderosa pine. And in his free time, he’s more likely to be found atop a favorite mule exploring the Pacific Northwest backcountry than sitting at a keyboard … » More …

Fall 2017

James Thayer on the craft of the novel

James Thayer reads from The Boxer and the Poet

James Thayer ‘71 reads the first chapter of his romantic comedy, The Boxer and the Poet.

 

 

Tips and Techniques

Thayer started teaching the craft of the novel about ten years ago as a creative writing instructor at the University of Washington. He’s also a regular contributor to Author magazine.

Thayer, a natural storyteller, absorbed his craft through his lifelong voracious reading habit. When he first got the teaching job, he realized he didn’t have enough to say to fill a 90-hour, year-long course. So, as is his wont, he read a bunch of books. … » More …

Still Time cover
Winter 2015

Still Time

Still Time cover

Jean Hegland ’79

Arcade Publishing: 2015

Still Time, a new novel by Jean Hegland, explores dementia through the eyes of aging Shakespearean scholar John Wilson. Unsettled by life in a residential care facility and a surprise visit from his estranged daughter, Wilson finds solace and structure in the plays and poetry that so captivated his life.

Hegland, who shares poetry at a memory care center near her home in California, says she was inspired by … » More …

Summer 2015

The Awakening

The Awakening

Allen Johnson ’85 PhD
Skyhorse Publishing, 2014

The Awakening weaves effortlessly through time, from the battle-scarred streets of Spain in 1936 to nearly 60 years later as it tells the life story of Diego Garcia and his descendants.

In this unconventional romance novel, Diego Garcia dropped everything to be with the Moroccan beauty of his dreams, Lupe. The two newlyweds headed to Granada, Spain, to start a life of their own in the 1930s. The two loved each other immensely, and where there is love there is compassion. The story leaps forward almost 60 years … » More …

Digitized lives cover
Spring 2015

New and Noteworthy

Digitized Lives: Culture, Power, and Social Change in the Internet Era by T.V. Reed  :: Routledge, 2014 :: T.V. Reed, a WSU English and American studies professor, examines the impact of digital communication and the Internet on how we live.

Whole in the Clouds by Kristine Kibbee ’00 :: The Zharmae Publishing Press, 2014 :: Cora Catlin, the unhappy orphan protagonist in Kibbee’s debut novel, and her dog Motley discover the meaning of friendship and a magical world in the clouds.

Two Bits and Odd Days by Thomas A. Springer ’86 :: 2014 :: Springer, a Tacoma high school teacher and creative writer, offers a … » More …

Slow Regard cover
Spring 2015

The Slow Regard of Silent Things

Slow Regard
Patrick Rothfuss ’02 MA
DAW Books, 2014

A darling of the sci-fi/fantasy set, Pat Rothfuss has diverted from the long-awaited third part of his bestselling Kingkiller trilogy and, instead, taken the time to explore the story of lovely, lonely Auri, one of the secondary Kingkiller characters.

Warning his readers that this book may not be for them, not even for the most serious fans of his first two meaty novels The Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear, Rothfuss nonetheless draws them in to this bittersweet tale of the fair-haired mysterious woman who … » More …

Into the Storm cover
Summer 2014

New & Noteworthy

Into the Storm cover

Kierkegaard for the Church: Essays and Sermons by Ronald F. Marshall ’71 Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013 :: Søren Kierkegaard’s philosophy and writings on Christianity have been a staple of classrooms and academics for many years, but have not necessarily been applied to the practice and teaching of the Christian faith. Marshall, pastor at First Lutheran Church in West Seattle since 1979, takes Kierkegaard’s criticisms of the Danish church and emphasis on individual … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Fall 2013

New & Noteworthy for Fall 2013

Luna Sea by Kim Roberts

Luna Sea
by Kim Roberts ’82
2012

Aloha Jones, harbormaster at Lahaina, Maui, investigates the murder of a local troublemaker in this mystery set in Hawaii and filled with sharks and funky characters on the dark side of paradise.

The Boys From Ireland: An Irish Immigrant Family’s Involvement in the Civil War
by Neil W. Moloney ’53
2012

In this historical fiction, a group of dispossessed Irish immigrants find themselves embroiled in America’s Civil War, enduring poverty, starvation, and the loss of family members.

Biodesign Out … » More …

Blasphemy cover by Sherman Alexie
Summer 2013

Blasphemy: New and Selected Stories

Blasphemy-Alexie

 

Sherman Alexie ’94
Grove Press, 2012

Most writers’ volumes of “new and selected” stories add only two or three new pieces to twenty or thirty old ones. More than half of Sherman Alexie’s Blasphemy is new, however, including a few lengthy stories. The success of Alexie’s teen novel The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian seems to have invigorated his short stories, and readers who regard them as his best work will be … » More …