Willy Vlautin, The Free

She healed my leg, and then my heart.


Books
When WW asked author Willy Vlautin in 2010 what he was working on, he said he was writing a “nurse novel.” You know, kind of like Hemingway did with A Farewell to Arms. Alongside the penny W   More
 
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Time and a tapestry of narratives.


Books
Time is a tricky thing. We are all subject to its effect, yet it remains smugly intangible. Writing a novel about the concept of time has the potential to be dangerously abstract or cliché. But R   More
 
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 PENELOPE BASS

Langdon Cook, The Mushroom Hunters

You can’t spell fungus without fun.


Books
There’s a bit of a vogue in mushroom pickers. From Burkhard Bilger’s picaresque 2007 piece in The New Yorker to a photo essay published this year on Slate.com that might as well have been fund   More
 
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

The Best Thing I Read This Year

From memoir to nonfiction to poetry, Portland’s literary community weighs in on the best books of 2013.


Books
My pick—Antidote by Corey Van Landingham—is unabashedly biased. Van Landingham was my student at Lewis & Clark College, and, for me, part of the thrill of reading this book comes from my   More
 
Tuesday, December 24, 2013 WW Culture Staff

JD Chandler, Hidden History of Portland, Oregon

Localizing Howard Zinn.


Books
JD Chandler’s Hidden History of Portland, Oregon (History Press, 190 pages, $19.99) isn’t the usual cult Portland chronicle of Shanghai Tunnels or tittered-about former brothels. Rather, it�   More
 
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Mark Russell, God Is Disappointed in You

The gooder news Bible.


Books
In 1966, someone had the radical idea of publishing the Bible in the everyday American language. The translation technique was called “dynamic equivalence,” which holds that good translation   More
 
Wednesday, November 27, 2013 MARTIN CIZMAR

The Best of McSweeney’s

Eggers’ omelette.


Books
My first encounter with McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern was at Reading Frenzy bookstore in the summer of 1999. The literary journal looked like nothing else. The cover of Issue 3 was filigreed w   More
 
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 MATTHEW KORFHAGE

Winemakers of the Willamette Valley

More boxed than bottled.


Books
In conversation with Oregon oenophiles, California is a curse word. John Vincent and Vivian Perry capitalize on this fiery state pride with Winemakers of the Willamette Valley: Pioneering Vintners   More
 
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 ENID SPITZ

Jesmyn Ward, Men We Reaped

A rotten story, told brilliantly.


Books
From the beginning of Men We Reaped (Bloomsbury, 272 pages, $26), Jesmyn Ward makes clear her memoir isn’t going to be an easy ride. By telling her story, she hopes, “I’ll understand why my    More
 
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 REBECCA JACOBSON

A. Scott Berg, Wilson

Wilson: the last openly racist U.S. president.


Books
Woodrow Wilson’s rise to president of the U.S. was as meteoric and improbable as Barack Obama’s a century later. Within a decade of becoming president of Princeton University, Wilson “left   More
 
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 MATT BUCKINGHAM

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