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Nocturnal America by John Keeble
Nocturnal America
John Keeble
Winner of the 2005 Book Prize in Fiction
John Keeble

About The Author

John Keeble was born in Winnipeg, Canada, and raised in Saskatchewan and California. For thirty years, he has lived with his family in rural Eastern Washington where he and his wife, Claire, a musician, now raise hay, free range chickens, and organic grass fed beef cattle. They have three grown sons and three grandchildren. His novel, Yellowfish (Harper and Row, 1980) was re-issued in a new edition with an "Introduction" by Bill Kittredge and an author's "Postscript" by the University of Washington Press. Another novel, Broken Ground (Harper and Row, 1987), was recently cited as one of the Hundred Books in Literary Oregon by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, and will be reissued in a new edition in March 2010—again by the University of Washington Press. A collection of stories, Nocturnal America, the award winner in fiction in the Prairie Schooner Prize Series in Fiction, was published by University of Nebraska Press (2006). Two other novels, Crab Canon and Mine (Grossman), were published in the seventies. A book of nonfiction, Out Of The Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill In Prince William Sound, was published in 1991 (HarperCollins), and reissued in a revised and expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition in 1999 (EWU Press). Short stories, interviews, and essays on political and ecological topics have appeared in Outside, American Short Fiction, Village Voice, Story, Left Bank, Volt, Zyzzyva, Rolling Stock, and Prairie Schooner, and in the web sites, DemWorks and Camas. His work has been anthologized in Dreamers and Desperadoes: An Anthology of Contemporary Writers of the American West; The Great Land; Reflections From The Island's Edge; Listening To The Land, Conversations About Nature, Culture, And Eros; Technological Disaster At Valdez; Arctic Refuge, A Circle of Testimony, Home Ground, and in Best American Short Stories. Keeble has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a Washington State Governor's Award. In 1993, he received a Northwest Regional Emmy Award Nomination for television documentary writing for To Write And Keep Kind, a film on the life of Raymond Carver which aired on PBS in the same year. He also served as the literary consultant for a documentary on western writing, WestWord, aired on PBS in 1995. Educated at the University of Redlands, University of Iowa, and Brown University, he has taught at Grinnell College and Eastern Washington University where he founded the Master of Fine Arts Program and is now Professor Emeritus. On three occasions, most recently the fall of 2002, he held the Coal Royalty Trust Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama, and also served there as Visiting Professor for an additional year. He is a board member and past board president of the Sitka, Alaska-based Island Institute.

Extract

You can read an excerpt from Nocturnal America on the University of Nebraska Press website here.

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Praise

“Like the setting, this book is rich and rewarding.”—Publishers Weekly

“Keeble’s Pacific Northwest [is] a rich and desolate landscape that yields a limitless trove of both peril and passion. . . . Keeble is adept at speaking from either the male or female point of view. . . . Daily existence is a wild and precarious dance in Keeble’s world, where lives gingerly balance between hope and grief.”—Booklist

Nocturnal America, winner of the 2006 Prairie Schooner Prize for fiction, is a supremely satisfying set of nine loosely connected stories that interweave raw emotion, spiritual searching and violence. . . . For the most part, the men and women of Nocturnal America are as real as your next-door neighbor, struggling with matters of body and spirit against an Eastern Washington backdrop of stark lines, sweeping curves and treeless horizons. Keeble illuminates his characters with uncommon clarity, showing the care of an author who’s spent 30 years perfecting his form.”— Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times

“Winner of the Prairie Schooner Book Prize in fiction, John Keeble’s beautifully rendered short-story collection, Nocturnal America, examines the power of family, love and place. . . . The author’s feel for people and place are key to this outstanding collection.”—Sybil Downing, The Denver Post

“Writers write about the same 10 things over and over. Love, hate, loyalty, betrayal, innocence, guilt, birth, death, hope, despair. . . . There’s nothing new to write about. In the wrong hands, stories can be too familiar. In the right hands, stories show us how we live. John Keeble’s hands are the right ones. . . . [I]n issues of craft, Keeble is first-rate.”—Ellen Slezak, Los Angeles Times Book Review

“[Nocturnal America is] fiction with characterization as deep and broad as any writer might draw—at times luminous, at times heartbreaking. . . . [T]he University of Nebraska Press proves again its ability to print what deserves to be published. . . . These stories have an edge so sharp it cuts, but they also hold the soft place of a conflicted heart. Writers like Keeble do not often tell us what we want to know, but they do tell us what we fear to know. If Nocturnal America is often dark, Keeble’s work also flickers with a distant light.”—Bloomsbury Review