Your "Locals Only" Fall Reading List

Four new releases from Portland authors explore fundamentalism, Hollywood, and a retelling of Romeo and Juliet.

By Schuyler Keenan September 25, 2014 Published in the October 2014 issue of Portland Monthly

Courtesy Atria/Emily Bestler books; Courtesy Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Courtesy Hawthorne Books; Courtesy Tin House Books

Juliet’s Nurse
by Lois Leveen (Atria/Emily Bestler Books, $26) 

From the historian/author of The Secrets of Mary Bowser, this novel retells Romeo and Juliet from the perspective of the stalwart (and surprisingly bawdy) nurse, riffing off the Bard’s dialogue along the way. “It’s only fair: Shakespeare ripped off all his best ideas from other people anyway,” says Leveen. Read our interview with Leveen about researching the sexual lives of 14th century women and why families were so into fighting.

On sale Sept 23; reading Oct 28 at Broadway Books

by Peyton Marshall (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $26)

The debut novel by this alum of both the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and Portland’s riot grrrl scene follows a boy named James through an Orwellian world of reform institutions. Marshall’s tale of the human capacity for both love and brutality sears with questions about justice, education, genetic testing, and fundamentalism.

On sale Sept 30; reading Sept 30 at Powell’s

The Diamond Lane
by Karen Karbo (Hawthorne Books, $19)

Long before her iconic “Kick Ass Women” series, Karbo won effusive praise for this satiric 1993 novel. A filmmaker fresh off a 16-year jaunt through Africa turns her camera on the glitz of Hollywood—and her fiancé. Hawthorne Books revives the book after 14 years out of print.

On sale Oct 1; reading Oct 1 at Broadway Books

by Charles D’Ambrosio (Tin House Books, $16)

Whether about whaling or Christian “hell houses,” these essays by the New Yorker contributor, a two-time PEN finalist, showcase realistic slices of life that read like a glimpse into the mind of an introvert.

On sale Nov 14; reading Nov 2 at Disjecta

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