Saturday, March 21, 2009

Michele Longo Eder

Introduction by Marianne Klekacz:
Michele Longo Eder's first book was published in 2008. Salt in Our Blood: The Memoir of a Fisherman's Wife, draws on Eder's journals, public records, interviews, essays, and other sources to reflect the realities of the life of a commercial fisherman and his family.

Just as Overstory Zero, by Robert Leo Heilman, did for the logging industry several year's ago, Salt in Our Blood opens a window to look in on a unique and endangered Oregon way of life.

Eder's book is aptly titled. Oceans contain roughly the same percentage of salt as do our blood, sweat, and tears. Salt in Our Blood is full of all four.

Eder's narrative shows us the joy, frustration, hard work, and tragedy in the life of a commercial fisherman. Coming from the outside to join her husband in his chosen environment and career, she casts a clear eye not only on the fishing but on the politics, pettiness, and lack of comprehension that endanger Oregon's fisheries and fishermen, and on the very real dangers they face with each trip to sea to harvest food.

Salt in Our Blood is a gripping read.
All of us have, in our veins, the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.

President John F. Kennedy
Newport, Rhode Island
September 14, 1962

Born in upstate New York, Eder graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1976, moved to Portland, Oregon, and graduated from the Lewis & Clark law school before moving to Newport. She currently serves on the board of directors of the North Pacific Research Board, and, as a two-term Presidential appointee, is a Commissioner with the U.S. Arctic Research Commission. She also serves on the board of directors of the Newport Library Foundation.

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Jim Lynch

Video by Carla Perry

Introduction by Marianne Klekacz:
Jim Lynch's first novel, The Highest Tide, was published in 2006 to critical acclaim. It's loosely described as a "coming-of-age fable." I'm not sure that description does the book justice. From the wonderful foreshadowing on page 2 -- " freakish summer in which I was ambushed by science, fame, and suggestions of the divine"­- Lynch had me. I read the book in one sitting.

Lately, I've been chatting with a number of folks about the things we seem to lose as we "grow up" ­the sense of wonder, the less-jaded eye, the curiosity, those sorts of things. It takes a skilled and thoughtful writer to reconstruct the sense and sensibilities of childhood and adolescence and to reproduce those on the page. Jim Lynch is clearly both skilled and thoughtful.

Like Harper Lee's Scout Finch and J. D. Salinger's Holden Caulfield, "little Miles O'Malley," self-described wimpy nerd, teeters on the brink of big life changes. He guides us through a momentous summer in his adolescence with the unflinching eye of "an increasingly horny thirteen-year-old" who looks about nine but is blessed with a brain that wraps itself around the events in the story in a sophisticated way. He took me by the hand, and I gladly shared his journey.
The Highest Tide
Jim Lynch's second novel, Border Songs, will be released this summer. I can hardly wait.
Lynch grew up on a lake near Seattle. After graduating from the University of Washington in 1985, with degrees in creative writing and journalism, he worked as a reporter in a tiny Alaskan fishing town. He then escaped for Washington, D.C., where he wrote columns for syndicated muckraker Jack Anderson and short fiction for literary magazines.

When he returned to the Northwest, it was to Spokane, where his stories won national honors including the Livingston Young Journalist Award. Later, he wrote for The Seattle Times and served four years as the Portland Oregonian's Puget Sound reporter. He now devotes himself full-time to writing fiction. Lynch lives in Olympia, Washington, with his wife and daughter.

To learn more visit