OSU prof to read from new book on Feb. 19


CORVALLIS - Award-winning author Tracy Daugherty will read from his new novel, "The Boy Orator," on Friday, Feb. 19, at Oregon State University. The reading, sponsored by the OSU Book Store, will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Union Room 208. It is free and open to the public.

Daugherty is a faculty member in the Department of English at OSU and the author of two previous books, "Desired Provoked" and "What Falls Away," which garnered him the 1996 Oregon Book Award. He also wrote a volume of short stories, "The Woman in the Oil Field."

In 1998, Daugherty received a literature fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

His latest book, "The Boy Orator," is set in early 20th-century Oklahoma. A blend of fact and fiction, the book follows the experiences of Harry Shaughnessy, a farmer's son with a gift for public speaking, who travels to labor camps, country fairs and Oklahoma City to spread the peoples' gospel.

"The Boy Orator" is based loosely on the experiences of Daugherty's grandfather, who was a child orator and later a state representative in Oklahoma. Fictional characters within the novel interact with historical figures, including Eugene V. Debs and feminist Kate O'Hare.

Author William Kittredge said the novel is "that rare thing, a first-rate novel which takes us behind the sweet facades to reveal the political workings of our culture."

A native of Texas, Daugherty has been on the OSU faculty since 1986.