Rebekah Anderson & Michael Daley
Two fiction debuts by stellar Pacific Northwest writers - one of them quite new at books and publishing, the other quite seasoned, although this novel a first - get celebrated this evening with this joint virtual reading. Seattle writer Rebekah Anderson draws on her family’s generations-long presence in eastern Washington as background for her excellent, historically-set debut novel, The Grand Promise (Empty Bowl).
“Rebekah Anderson imagines the repercussions of building the Grand Coulee Dam for riverside communities riven by prejudice, need and hope. To make it through The Great Depression, her characters destroy, scavenge and rebuild to salvage their homes and self-images. A most American story of survival and self advancement in the name of questionable progress, The Grand Promise posits questions about prosperity whose answers are playing out in real time. Amidst shanty towns of a Pacific Northwest more akin to modern times than most people want to believe, each generation raises the stakes for the next.” — Kristen Millares Young
“Rebekah Anderson’s wonderful debut novel The Grand Promise is a roiling, remarkably ambitious saga exploring the lives of a complex array of characters forever altered by the construction of the largest dam in North America—the Grand Coulee on the Columbia River. Deeply researched, the book evokes with remarkable specificity these ordinary and extraordinary people living in rural Washington in the late 1930s, as they’re pushed and pulled by this outrageously ambitious project, their lives swept up and overturned by the forces of history.” — Peter Mountford
Then there is Michael Daley, poet/author of such collections over the decades as The Straits, Moonlight in the Redemptive Forest, Of a Feather, Born With, and Reinhabited: New & Selected Poems, also translations. The founding editor of Empty Bowl, and a key literary conjurer of community and support for other poets and writers, he’ll be reading from what we believe is his first novel, Telémachus (Pleasure Boat Studio).
“Father: Famous poet and vicious critic of contemporary poetry and politics found dead, seated on a subway platform bench. Son: Famous painter of miniature, imaginary landscapes seeks the secrets behind his estranged father’s personal and professional demise. The Chorus: Letters and texts from father’s friends sing us through the convoluted Archipelago of these distinctly contemporary lives. Climb aboard the Telémachus, secrets await! Michael Daley raises the bar on father-son tales.” –Bill Ransom.