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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 …

Swift Dam
Spring 2017

Swift Dam

Swift Dam

Sid Gustafson ’77, ’79 DVM

Open Books: 2016

 

Swift Dam pulls you in, drags you practically, sweeping you over the western landscape until you are ankle deep in Sid Gustafson’s world. The writing flows through the reader’s mind like water and entrenches the reader in the story. With each passing chapter, it becomes harder to discern if you are reading a published novel or a form of the author’s diary.

The story follows … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Winter 2016

Briefly Noted

 

Light in the Trees

Gail Folkins ’85

Texas Tech University Press: 2016 

Folkins draws on her experiences growing up in rural western Washington to weave a coming of age tale for both the narrator and the place. The memoir, touching on everything from serial killers and Northwest volcanoes to Sasquatch myths and runaway livestock, glides through past and present while exploring cultural and environmental topics illustrating the changing American West.

 

The Expanding Universe: A Primer on Relativistic Cosmology

William D. Heacox ’72 MA

Cambridge University Press: 2015

Cosmology, the science of the universe, has seen a renaissance in recent decades. This textbook by … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Fall 2016

Briefly Noted

 

Conversations: Jury Selection

David L. Crump ’81

A glimpse into the minds of prospective jurors through 50 conversations, this book written for trial lawyers teaches about juror biases and prejudices, and how to connect with potential jurors. Crump is a 1981 political science graduate and successful Pacific Northwest trial lawyer.

 

The Labyrinth House

Mark Rollins ’94

Luthando Coeur: 2014

Rollins’s fantasy novel follows architect Bradley Jensen through a door in a tree and into a mysterious mansion, which he and the other denizens can’t leave.

 

Angel’s Bounty

Directed by Lee Fleming ’07

2015

A dark, gritty comedy shot on the Palouse and … » More …

Book - Briefly Noted
Summer 2016

Briefly Noted

 

Immortal of the Cinder Path: the Saga of James “Ted” Meredith

By John Jack Lemon ’78

2015

In this first tribute to early twentieth-century athlete James “Ted” Meredith, Lemon introduces a mostly forgotten, and sometimes heartbreaking, story of a world-record breaking runner, Olympic gold medalist, and all-around sports star.

 

Hope

By Suzanne D. Lonn ’67

WestBow Press: 2014

This third novel from Lonn explores family dynamics through adoption, obsessive compulsive disorders, and salvation. Hope is a sequel to Lonn’s earlier novel The Game of Hearts (2003 Exlibris). She also published Mixed Nuts in 2008, a novel about elder abuse, alcoholism, depression, and dementia.

» More …

WSU Emeritus Professor and writer Alex Kuo. Courtesy Alex Kuo
Winter 2015

Triple Shanghai

Alex Kuo’s writing confronts censorship both explicit and hidden

In a pivotal moment from Alex Kuo’s new novel shanghai.shanghai.shanghai, several Chinese card players watch a team of Americans publicly disavow George W. Bush’s administration in front of an international audience. Struck by the brazen criticism, a pickpocket known as Bogota Man questions how such anti-government opinions could ever be voiced openly.

He contends that political dissent in China can mean life in solitary confinement. A friend quickly responds that in America the defiant act of protest is more likely to be completely ignored.

“I’m not sure which is worse,” she says.

» More …

Fall 2012

Dove Creek

9850062
Paula Marie Coomer
Booktrope, 2010

While more known for her short stories, Paula Coomer takes the novel form to tell the story of Patricia Morrison, the daughter of Kentucky hill folk who leaves her hardscrabble life in Appalachia to discover a new existence in the West. After an unpleasant divorce, she lands on the Nez Perce Indian reservation to work as a nurse. The book, told in the main character’s voice, incorporates an exploration of … » More …

Winter 2010

Mrs. Annathena Gilly Gully From Puddle Rumple Tilly Willy

annathena

Chellis Swenson Jensen ’53
Fairwood Press, Inc., 2010

Chellis Swenson Jensen has created a quirky lady backed by her pet parrot, Maurice. Tired of the neighborhood children’s teasing, the lead character decides the solution is to change her name. Only when she recognizes that she, too, can laugh at her name and accept it does she decide to talk with the children.

The story is a collaboration amongst Chellis, her son, Paul Swenson (illustrator), … » More …