OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

“Oregon Experiment” debuts June 14; reading at Powell’s scheduled for same day

06/06/2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Anarchism, secessionist groups, radical environmentalism, local food movements – all of these uniquely Oregon qualities provide the backdrop for a new novel set in a fictional Northwest town.

Oregon State University author Keith Scribner's new novel, “The Oregon Experiment,” looks at these issues, while also exploring political, social and personal questions that will resonate with readers from any locale.

Scribner, an associate professor of English at OSU, will read from his book on Tuesday, June 14, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W. Burnside, Portland.

Published by Alfred A. Knopf, “The Oregon Experiment” tells the story of East Coast transplants Scanlon and Naomi Pratt. Scanlon, who has taken a position as a professor at a small town university, and his wife, a professional “nose” (perfumer) who has been mourning her lost sense of smell, are expecting their first child. Bolstered by research opportunities in “mass movements and domestic radicalism,” Scanlon begins interacting with fringe characters in the community including Sequoia, the leader of a local Oregon secessionist movement, and Clay, a young anarchist.

In the course of writing this book, Scribner sought out and engaged with local anarchists and secessionists who are working to remove Oregon from the United States and make it a sovereign nation. He also met with top brass in the business of fragrance, even collaborating on the creation of a scent, which is described in the novel.

Scribner’s two previous novels, published by Riverhead Books (Penguin), are “The GoodLife” and “Miracle Girl.” “The GoodLife” was selected for the Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers series, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Scribner received his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and master of fine arts degree from the University of Montana. He was awarded Wallace Stegner and John L’Heureux Fellowships in Fiction at Stanford University, where he went on to teach in the Creative Writing Program as a Jones Lecturer. He lives in Oregon with his wife, poet Jennifer Richter, and their children.