Portland Area Theatre Alliance Fertile Ground Portland Oregon

Portland Book Festival: One venue’s reading list

An afternoon in the Winningstad Theatre yields an armload of recommended reading.

|

George Orwell has never ceased to be relevant, authors Jon Raymond and Mat Johnson agree.

One of the joys of the Portland Book Festival is hearing participating authors talk about books they love and think other readers should know.  I spent Saturday in Portland’5 Winningstad Theatre, which yielded the following short list of recommended reading.

Lidia Yuknavitch, in explaining her non-linear plot structure in Thrust, mentioned The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, an essay by Ursula K. Le Guin.  I’d never heard of this piece, then in a delightful bit of synchronicity, an article in Sunday’s New York Times Book Review references it.  I love stuff like that.

When an audience member asked Jon Raymond how he felt about George Orwell’s renewed relevance, Raymond responded that Orwell had never ceased to be relevant, and cited his 1946 essay, Politics and the English LanguageMat Johnson, who appeared with Raymond in the session “Future Tense,” agreed, adding, “Orwell, Toni Morrison, and Joseph Heller are part of my DNA.”  Johnson also praised a graphic novel set during the Weimar Republic: Berlin by Jason Lutes.

When asked what she had read recently, Melissa Febos had two recommendations: White Ivy, a “delicious” novel by Susie Yang, and Helen MacDonald’s upcoming novel, Prophet (co-authored by Sin Blaché) which Febos read in galleys.  That one’s not due out till August, so you’ll have to be patient.  But I bet you have something else to read in the meantime.

Be part of our
growing success

Join our Stronger Together Campaign and help ensure a thriving creative community. Your support powers our mission to enhance accessibility, expand content, and unify arts groups across the region.

Together we can make a difference. Give today, knowing a donation that supports our work also benefits countless other organizations. When we are stronger, our entire cultural community is stronger.

Donate Today

Photo Joe Cantrell

Karen Pate worked 29 years as an editor at The Oregonian, most of that time overseeing community news and features in Washington and Clackamas counties. She’s written about storytellers and banjo players, English-language bookstores in Paris and horses who starred in movies. Her work has appeared in The Oregonian, Oregon Magazine, Reed Magazine and various equestrian publications. She wandered into journalism after studying creative writing at Reed College. Karen lives in Portland and has a job that lets her travel around the state, tagging along after racehorses.

SHARE:
Triangle Productions presents Eleanor starring Margie Boule Portland Oregon
Pacific Maritime Heritage Center Prosperity of the Sea Lincoln County Historical Society Newport Oregon Coast
Newport Performance and Visual Arts Centers Newport Oregon Coast
Chamber Music Northwest Beethoven's Complete Piano Trios The Old Church Portland Oregon
City of Hillsboro Walters Cultural Arts Center She's Speaking Live! Hillsboro Oregon
Grace Goudy Distinguished Artists Series Willamette University Salem Oregon
Portland State University College of Arts William Shakespeare Measure for Measure PSU Portland Oregon
Portland Chamber Orchestra Young Artist Competition University of Portland Free Event Portland Oregon
Portland Area Theatre Alliance Fertile Ground Portland Oregon
Portland Art Museum Virtual Sneakers to Cutting Edge Kicks Portland Oregon
Portland Columbia Symphony Realm of Nature Beaverton and Gresham Oregon
Portland Opera The Snowy Day Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
White Bird Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Keller Auditorium Portland Oregon
Northwest Dance Project Sarah Slipper Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon
Corrib Theatre Contemporary Irish Theatre Portland Oregon
Seattle Opera The Life and Times of MalcolmX McCaw Hall Seattle Washington
High Desert Museum Sasquatch Central Oregon
Oregon Cultural Trust donate
We do this work for you.

Give to our GROW FUND.