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Fiction

House of 8 Orchids cover
Winter 2017

House of 8 Orchids

House of 8 Orchids cover

James Thayer ’71

Thomas & Mercer: 2016

 

Master storyteller James Thayer turns in another winner with House of 8 Orchids. In Chungking in the early twentieth century, Chinese gangsters snatch the two sons of a diplomat—John, five, and his brother William, two—from the care of their amah.

Fast forward to the 1930s. War with Japan is heating up. The boys, now men, have been raised in the eponymous House to … » More …

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 …

New and Noteworthy
Spring 2015

New and noteworthy

 

Digitized Lives: Culture, Power, and Social Change in the Internet Era

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

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

Thomas A. Springer ’86

2014

Springer, a Tacoma high school teacher and creative writer, offers a selection of his poems from the … » 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 …

New and Noteworthy
Summer 2014

New & noteworthy

 

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 engagement with the religion into pragmatic sermons and essays on the philosopher’s role in churches today. Marshall has authored more than 50 articles on religion, specializing in the works of Martin Luther … » More …

New and Noteworthy
Fall 2013

New & noteworthy

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 …