Monday, April 5, 2010

Peter Rock to read Thursday Night

We hope you can join us Thursday night (April 8th) at 7 to hear Peter Rock read from his novel My Abandonment, recently issued in paperback.

A thirteen-year-old girl and her father, a war veteran, are living in Forest Park in Portland, Oregon. There they inhabit an elaborate cave shelter, bathe in a nearby creek, store perishables at the water's edge, use a makeshift septic system, tend a garden, even keep a library of sorts. Once a week, they go to the city to buy groceries and otherwise merge with the civilized world. But one small mistake allows a backcountry jogger to discover them, which derails their entire existence, ultimately provoking a deeper flight. Inspired by a true story and told through the startlingly sincere voice of a young narrator, Caroline, My Abandonment is a riveting journey into life at the margins, and a mesmerizing tale of survival and hope.

In January, My Abandonment was selected as one of the winners of the 2010 Alex Awards, honoring the top ten adult books published in the previous year with appeal to readers between the ages of 12 and 18. The award is administered by the Young Adult Library Services Association, a division of the American Library Association, and sponsored by the Margaret A. Edwards trust. The award is named in honor of the late Margaret Alexander Edwards, fondly called “Alex” by her closest friends, a pioneer in providing library services to young adults. At Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, Edwards used adult books extensively with young adults to broaden their experience and enrich their understanding of themselves and their world.

Peter was born and raised in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Deep Springs College and earned his BA in English from Yale. He has taught fiction at the University of Pennyslvania, Deep Springs College, and in the MFA program at San Francisco State University. He has been teaching at Reed College in Portland since 2001 and is currently an Associate Professor in the Creative Writing program. He held a Wallace Stegner Fellowship at Stanford and was the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship.

My Abandonment, published in hardcover in 2009, is Peter's sixth book. He has four previous novels (The Bewildered, The Ambidextrist, This is the Place, and Carnival Wolves) and a collection of stories (The Unsettling). His novels frequently focus on loners, people living on the fringes of society and usually searching for something. We hope you can join us Thursday night at 7 for a fascinating evening with local author Peter Rock.

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