Laura Buchholz 2017-05-03 13:07:40
Okay. You’ve registered for ARCHIVES 2017 on July 23–29 in Portland at the Oregon Convention Center, marked the sessions you don’t want to miss, and sorted out lodging and travel. Now all you have to do is decide which artisanal donut shop to visit and whether to go to the Cheese Bar (http://www.cheese-bar.com) or the Whiskey Library (https://mwlpdx.com), right? Hold your custom, fixed-gear bike! What’s the only thing more “Portland” than food and drink? Books!!! Before you even arrive, get to know your host city through the words of these Oregon authors and characters. Nonfiction Oregon’s Promise: An Interpretive History by David Peterson del Mar This book is perfect if your knowledge of Oregon is based on Portlandia and the Oregon Trail game. Peterson del Mar covers enormous ground, deliberately taking on founding myths in an effort to describe the lives of Oregonians of all classes, races, and ethnicities. Covering the history of an entire state is too big a task for less than 300 pages, but the work is absolutely worth reading. The Portland Black Panthers: Empowering Albina and Remaking a City by Lucas N. N. Burke and Judson L. Jeffries In the nineteenth century, Oregon repeatedly passed laws excluding African Americans from the state, and Portland is one of the whitest cities in the country. This well-researched book examines the Black Panther party of Portland and the Albina neighborhood, where many black Portlanders lived, often due to housing discrimination. This book gives voice to an important but little known part of the city’s history. Portland in Three Centuries: The Place and the People by Carl Abbott A quick and easy read, Portland in Three Centuries focuses on the business and technological forces that shaped Portland, from an author who clearly loves the city. However, Abbott’s attempts to discuss Portland’s minority communities seem somewhat forced, so read this book alongside The Portland Black Panthers for a fuller picture of the city. Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon by Chuck Palahniuk When people say, “Keep Portland Weird,” this is the sort of weird they usually mean. This unofficial guidebook tells you where to see the knife from Alfred hitchcock’s Psycho and which hotels house which ghosts. It even explains the history of the Church of Elvis. The book could be summarized with a quote from that guy who glues things all over his car: “Portland makes up for its small size with its loud and obnoxious behavior.” Fiction The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin This classic science fiction story features a man whose dreams change the world—just never quite as intended. Portland provides an important but unobtrusive backdrop to the story. And Mt. hood erupts! The Jump-Off Creek by Molly Gloss A beautiful and sparsely written novel. At its center is Lydia Sanderson, a woman starting a homestead alone in the Blue Mountains in northeast Oregon in 1895. The few characters reveal themselves slowly, with ample silences and short dialogue set in a harsh environment and economy. Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey Kesey’s 1964 novel may not be for everyone. In fact, it can take a couple reads before the plot becomes clear, let alone for true appreciation to develop. Nonetheless, this piece remains an important Northwest work, worth reading even for the descriptions of rain. The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie If you haven’t already read these two books, then it’s time! Although set mostly on the Spokane Indian Reservation in Washington, Alexie’s books are required reading for understanding the Pacific Northwest. Not enough? There’s plenty more! Check out these lists for more great books about portland and oregon. 150 Oregon Books for the Oregon Sesquicentennial: http://www.oregon.gov/OSL/docs/booklist.pdf Goodreads’ List of Books Set in Portland, Oregon: https:// www.goodreads.com/places/1614-portland-oregon?page=1 Required Reading: 40 Books Set in the Pacific Northwest: http://www.powells.com/post/required-reading/required-reading- 40-books-set-in-the-pacific-northwest Oregon Poetic voices: http://oregonpoeticvoices.org/poets/ 10 Portland Powerhouses Bringing the (Good) hurt to Publishing: https://litreactor.com/columns/14-portland- powerhouses-bringing-the-hurt-to-independent-publishin
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