A Small Crowd of Strangers

How does a librarian from New Jersey end up in a convenience store on Vancouver Island in the middle of the night, playing Bible Scrabble with a Korean physicist and a drunk priest? She gets married to the wrong man for starters—she didn’t know he was ‘that kind of Catholic’—and ends up in St. Cloud, Minnesota. She gets a job in a New Age bookstore, wanders toward Buddhism without realizing it, and acquires a dog. Things get complicated after that. Pattianne Anthony is less a thinker than a dreamer, and she finds out the hard way that she doesn’t want a husband, much less a baby, and that getting out of a marriage is a lot harder than getting into it, especially when the landscape of the west becomes the voice of reason. A Small Crowd of Strangers, Joanna Rose’s second novel, is part love story, part slightly sideways spiritual journey.


Joanna Rose
Forest Avenue Press
Trade paperback • FICTION
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Trade Paper: 6 x 9
Cover Price: $17.95
ISBN: TP 9781942436430
EBOOK: 9781942436843
395 pages
Distribution: Publishers Group West

Praise for Little Miss Strange (Algonquin), Joanna Rose’s debut novel

“This is a wondrous, uncanny book, like few others you will have read. . . . A story so assured and accomplished that it seems the work of a seasoned novelist at the peak of her talent.”

—Floyd Skloot, The Oregonian

“Sarajean’s account of her life and experiences are bound to embed themselves thoroughly in a reader’s memory.”

—Candace Horgan, The Denver Post

Little Miss Strange is a novel boldly reminding us that peace, love, and happiness weren’t the only things to come out of the sixties and seventies…a gloriously descriptive novel, packed with colorful details reminiscent of the dream, the era of free-love left behind.”

—Molly MacDermot, Redbook

“The ending alone may be as perfect as any novel written this year. Four stars.”

—Barbara Holliday, Detroit News/Free Press


Joanna Rose is the author of the award-winning novel Little Miss Strange, which earned the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award and was a finalist for the Oregon Book Award. Other work has appeared in ZYZZYVA, Windfall Journal, Cloudbank, Artisan Journal, Northern Lights, Oregon Humanities, High Desert Journal, VoiceCatcher, Calyx, and Bellingham Review. Her essay “That Thing With Feathers” was cited as Notable in 2015 Best American Essays. She established the Powell’s Books reading series and curated it for fifteen years. She is an Atheneum Fellow in Poetry at the Attic Institute and cohosts the prose critique group Pinewood Table. She also works with youth through Literary Arts’ Writers in the Schools and with Young Musicians & Artists. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and, at any given time, several dogs. 



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