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2018 Oregon Book Awards Finalist: Fiction

The 2018 Oregon Book Awards ceremony takes place Monday, April 30 at the Gerding Theater. Join us! You can purchase tickets to the ceremony at Brown Paper Tickets. You can also cast your vote online for the 2018 Readers Choice Award. This years winners of the Oregon Book Award, including the Readers Choice Award, will be announced at the ceremony.  We’ll be featuring this year’s finalists each week until then.


 American War by Omar El Akkad (Knopf)

A novel chronicling the life of a single family during the waning years of a second American civil war.

Omar El Akkad is an author and journalist. He has covered some of the biggest stories of the past decade, including the Arab Spring revolutions, the Black Lives Matter movement and the repercussions of the war on terror. He is the recipient of Canada’s National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting. His debut novel, American War, won the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and has been translated into a dozen languages. He lives in the woods just south of Portland.


Edgar and Lucy by Victor Lodato (St. Martin’s Press)

Eight-year-old Edgar Fini has survived a terrible accident, of which he remembers nothing.  When he meets a man with his own tragic past, the boy begins a journey into a secret wilderness where nothing is clear—not even the line between the living and the dead.

Victor Lodato is the author of two critically acclaimed novels: Mathilda Savitch, winner of the PEN USA Award, and the recently published Edgar and Lucy.  His stories and essays have appeared in The New Yorker and The New York Times.  He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the NEA. 


Wrench and Other Stories by Wayne Harrison (New American Press)

Set in blue-collar towns of the northeast and northwest, the stories in Wrench involve single mothers, young mechanics, ex-cons, recovering addicts and alcoholics, correctional officers, and a widower trying to do all he can for his toddler son. They are working class characters in transitional periods of estrangement and grief, uninvited change, and hard-won transcendence.

Wayne Harrison’s stories have appeared in The Atlantic, Ploughshares, McSweeney’s, Narrative and Best American Short Stories 2010. Wrench and Other Stories was runner-up for the Flannery O’Connor award and won the New American Fiction Prize. His novel, The Spark and the Drive, was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2014.


The Horse Latitudes by Matthew Robinson (Propeller Books)

The Horse Latitudes follows one U.S. Calvary platoon’s time in Baghdad, Iraq during the early years of the war.

Matthew Robinson’s holds an MFA from Portland State University, is co-editor of the online literary journal The Gravity of the Thing, and is an Oregon Literary Fellowship recipient. He lives, writes, and teaches in Portland, Oregon. 

The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch (HarperCollins)

The Book of Joan is a novel revisioning the Joan of Arc story through the lens of climate change and social collapse. The novel unwrites the tropes of the war story, the god story, and the love story in an effort to dig up new definitions of hope from the dirt up.

Lidia Yuknavitch is the author of the novels The Book of Joan, The Small Backs of Children, and Dora: A Headcase, the memoir The Chronology of Water, and The Misfit’s Manifesto. She has received awards from Literary Arts, PNBA, and Poets and Writers, and she founded the Corporeal Writing Collaboratives. She is a very good swimmer.




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