Friday, October 16, 1998

Greg Kleiner

Greg Kleiner’s first novel, Where River Turns To Sky, is the story of an eighty-year-old man who promises his lifelong friend, now confined to a nursing home, that he will not die alone. He visits every day for two years until the one weekend when he escapes to go fly-fishing. The friend dies while he’s gone. Vowing to allow no other person to die alone, he buys a rundown mansion in the Oregon town of Lookingglass and paints the house a shocking red lipstick colorl. He then invites a handful of elders move in with him. The book shows that death is not necessarily an end, rather a lesson in living.

The Chicago Tribune called Gregg’s novel, "a lovingly told story of aging, the betrayal of our bodies and minds, and death….you’ll leave this book with a deeper understanding of what it’s like to be old and how quickly human contact can redeem the loneliest among us."

Where River Turns to Sky was a finalist for both the 1997 Paterson Fiction prize and the 1997 Oregon Book Award.

Gregg is a third-generation Oregonian, a graduate of the University of Oregon with degrees in Journalism and German literature. At age 16, he spent a year as an American Foreign Exchange Student in the mountains of northern Thailand. For a month of that year, he lived at a Buddhist monastery as a novice under the tutelage of an aged monk. He’s worked as a dairy goat farmer, hotel concierge in Switzerland, freelance journalist, wildlife biologist, carpenter, and technical writer. He makes his living now writing and teaching. Gregg lives in Corvallis, with his wife, Lori, and two small children, Eli and Sophia.

Anita Feng

ANITA FENG received an MFA in Creative Writing from Brown University. She won several awards including the Pablo Neruda Poetry Prize, an Illinois Council award and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. Most recently, she received the Andrés Berger-Kiss Award for non-fiction.

Her first poetry collection, Internal Strategies, is a book that tells the story of her husband, Xiao Ge Feng, growing up through the turmoil of communist China. The book follows the course of his life from severe childhood illness to forced labor in Manchuria, through factory work, education, immigration to the United States and marriage.

Anita lives in Issaquah, Washington with her husband and three children where she maintains a studio as a professional potter specializing in ocarinas, musical instruments made from clay.

Ocarinas are an ancient folk instrument that originated in Central and South America where it was used by native tribes. Each tribe had its own "tuning" and could be identified at a distance from the music played. The tone of an ocarina is haunting, rich, unique. The word "ocarina" means "little goose egg" in Italian. Later, in America, it became known as the "sweet potato." According to the webpage information, Anita has been designing and creating ocarinas since 1974.