Forest Avenue Press publishes page turning, literary fiction. Our paperbacks and ebooks are available at independent bookstores and libraries as well as online in the usual places. We offer review copies and desk copies; contact Publisher Laura Stanfill with your request.
Booksellers: Legato Publishers Group, a division of Ingram, distributes our titles. Order now from Legato through Ingram or your favorite wholesaler: Phone: 1-800-788-3123 * Fax: 1-800-351-5073 * Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subrights: Foreign rights are represented by Linda Kaplan of Kaplan DeFiore Rights. Contact her or check out the list of subagents on the Kaplan DeFiore website. All other rights inquiries should be delivered to Publisher Laura Stanfill.
Most recent titles
The Remnants by Robert Hill
March 2016. The town of New Eden, peopled with hereditary oddities, has arrived at its last days. As two near-centenarian citizens prepare for their annual birthday tea, a third vows to interrupt the proceedings with a bold declaration. The Remnants cartwheels rambunctiously through the lives of wood-splitters, garment-menders, and chervil farmers, while exposing an electrical undercurrent of secrets, taboos, and unfulfilled longings. With his signature wit and wordplay, Robert Hill delivers a bittersweet gut-buster of an elegy to the collective memory of a community.
“Reading The Remnants reminded me of Pound’s conviction ‘that music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance; that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music.’ Robert Hill bridges this gulf even more directly, writing sentences that not only sing but dance, full of whisks and sways and sprightly little sidesteps of language. How would they look, I began to wonder, if you diagrammed them? Like pinwheels, I imagine. Like fireworks. Try to fasten them down and they’d still keep moving.”
– Kevin Brockmeier, author of The Illumination
August 2015. Rosebud Howard almost survives. She charges through the Lower Ninth Ward, beating the wall of floodwater by a half-block. She clambers out of an attic, onto a roof, into a rowboat. But her grueling trek to Tuscaloosa, in search of help for her family, ends when she’s hit and killed by a car laden with supplies for Hurricane Katrina victims. Passenger Rose Aikens, orphaned by the crash, climbs away from the wreck after lacing the dead girl’s sneakers onto her own feet. When she discovers they share not only shoes but a name and a birth year, Rose embarks upon a guilt-assuaging odyssey to retrace Rosebud’s last steps and locate her remaining kin. The stories and destinies of these two teenagers—one black, one white—converge in Landfall, giving voices to the dead and demonstrating how strangers, with perseverance and forgiveness, can unite to reconstruct each other’s shattered family histories.
“With her new novel Landfall, Ellen Urbani enters the world of American fiction with a bang and a flourish. She brings back the terrible Hurricane Katrina that tore some of the heart out of the matchless city of New Orleans, but did not lay a finger on its soul. It is the story of people caught in that storm and the lives both ruined and glorified in its passage. Her descriptions of the flooding of the Ninth Ward are Faulknerian in their powers. It’s a hell of a book and worthy of the storm and times it describes.”
– Pat Conroy, author of The Prince of Tides
“Ellen Urbani has written an amazing and original piece of literature. If you love Isabel Allende’s House of the Spirits you will love this book!
– Fannie Flagg, author of Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe
Froelich’s Ladder by Jamie Duclos-Yourdon
August 2016. Froelich nurses a decades-old family grudge from his permanent perch atop a giant ladder in this nineteenth century madcap adventure novel. When he disappears suddenly, his nephew embarks on a rain-soaked adventure across the Pacific Northwest landscape to find him, accompanied by an ornery girl with a most unfortunate name. In their encounters with Confederate assassins, European expatriates, and a general store magnate, this fairytale twist on the American dream explores the conflicts between loyalty and ambition and our need for human connection, even at the highest rungs.
“From the first page to the last, Froelich’s Ladder brims with color, intrigue, and verve. At once a fantastical, madcap adventure and a poignant meditation on independence and solitude, it’s the kind of book that captivates you quickly and whisks you high into the atmosphere. I was in thrall to the surreal Oregon landscape, populated by tycoons and grifters, cross-dressers and hungry clouds. This debut is clever, irreverent, and ultimately unforgettable.”
– Leslie Parry, author of Church of Marvels
City of Weird: 30 Otherworldly Portland Tales, edited by Gigi Little
October 2016. City of Weird conjures what we fear: death, darkness, ghosts. Hungry sea monsters and alien slime molds. Blood drinkers and game show hosts. Set in Portland, Oregon, these thirty stories blend imagination, literary writing, and pop culture into a cohesive weirdness that honors the city’s personality, its bookstores and bridges and solo volcano, as well as the tradition of sci-fi pulp magazines. Including such authors as Rene Denfeld, Justin Hocking, Leni Zumas, and Kevin Sampsell, editor Gigi Little has curated a collection that is quirky, often chilling, at times surprisingly profound—and always perfectly weird.
Contributors: Stevan Allred, Jonah Barrett, Doug Chase, Sean Davis, Susan DeFreitas, Rene Denfeld, Dan DeWeese, Art Edwards, Stefanie Freele, Jonathan Hill, Justin Hocking, Jeff Johnson, Leigh Anne Kranz, Kirsten Larson, B. Frayn Masters, Kevin Meyer, Karen Munro, Linda Rand, Brian Reid, Bradley K. Rosen, Nicole Rosevear, Mark Russell, Kevin Sampsell, Jason Squamata, Andrew Stark, Adam Strong, Suzy Vitello, Leslie What, Brigitte Winter, and Leni Zumas.
“If weird makes you think of funny and moving and disturbing and just plain odd in that wondrous Portland way, well, City of Weird is the book for you.”
– Jess Walter, author of Beautiful Ruins
The Hour of Daydreams by Renee Macalino Rutledge
Spring 2017. Manolo Lualhati, a respected doctor in an imaginary town in the Philippine countryside, believes his wife hides a secret. Prior to their marriage, he spied her wearing wings and flying to the stars each evening. Tala, who has escaped a troubled past, keeps to herself, but her secrets are not what Manolo thinks. They must constantly negotiate within themselves, determining which secrets to share or keep, reflecting universal, contemporary issues of identity and trust in a marriage. The Hour of Daydreams interprets the way legends are born from variations of truth and stories passed from one generation to the next.
“With its enticing undertow of secrets and magic, The Hour of Daydreams will seduce readers with its reverence for mystery, its gentle humor, and its deep empathy for its characters’ longings and losses. Sometimes it takes a village to tell a story as extraordinary as this—and Renee Macalino Rutledge has managed to do just that.”
– Cristina García, author of King of Cuba and Dreaming in Cuban
Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum
Spring 2018. Based on author Michael Shou-Yung Shum’s experience working as a poker dealer, Queen of Spades is a modern re-telling of the classic Pushkin fable of the same name, a highly stylized tale set in a Seattle-area casino that combines elements of a Hong Kong gambling movie with literary language and a lively cast of unforgettable characters.
The three main narrative threads follow Barbara, a recovering gambler trapped in a cultish twelve-step program; Mannheim, a pit boss at the Royal Casino who discovers he has just six months to live; and Chan, a dealer obsessed with the playing style of a mysterious customer known as the Countess. The characters in Queen of Spades, Franklin & Marshall Professor Shari Goldberg writes, are “at once carefully described and carefully obscured, characters whose specificity depends upon what refuses to come to the graspable surface. Shum’s elusiveness, like [Henry] James’s, is less concerned with his characters’ past . . . than with an approach to the world that recedes into impenetrability, that inherently resists psychologizing explanation.”
Backlist and Still Beloved!
Carry the Sky by Kate Gray
Named a best book of 2014 and one of eleven must-read books on high school by Bustle Magazine
September 2014. Kate Gray takes an unblinking look at bullying in her debut novel, Carry the Sky. It’s 1983 at an elite Delaware boarding school. Taylor Alta, the new rowing coach, arrives reeling from the death of the woman she loved. Physics teacher Jack Song, the only Asian American on campus, struggles with his personal code of honor when he gets too close to a student. These two young, lonely teachers narrate the story of a strange and brilliant thirteen-year-old boy who draws atomic mushroom clouds on his notebook, pings through the corridors like a pinball, and develops a crush on an older girl with secrets of her own. Carry the Sky sings a brave and honest anthem about what it means to be different in a world of uniformity.
Blurbs by Ron Carlson, Hannah Tinti, Christopher Buckley, Carter Sickels, Cari Luna, and others, plus an author interview conducted by Jeb Sharp, producer of PRI’s “The World.”
“In the rich rarified world of a prep school, Kate Gray has woven two powerful personal stories into a charged and compelling human novel which shows us that swimming under that quirky, antic, off-beat community are also life and death. Gray has a sharp eye and tells her story with verve and a deft touch.”
– Ron Carlson, author of The Signal and A Kind of Flying
The Night, and the Rain, and the River edited by Liz Prato
A Powell’s anthology bestseller and a staff pick at Annie Bloom’s Books
May 2014. A current of longing runs through twenty-two short stories by Oregon writers. As the characters strive for connection, they make mistakes, reach out to the wrong people, and recalibrate their lives based on what they desire, whether of not it’s attainable—or even a good idea. A shy pyromaniac takes a chance on love. A young woman hands her decisions to a man she’s never met. An abandoned father and son struggle to pull a stump from the stubborn ground, the town wailer loses her voice after her mother’s death, and a cloudless Oregon sky triggers a trip for a final goodbye. Editor Liz Prato has curated a powerful collection of smart, funny, sad, exquisite stories about the losses that shape our lives. This regional anthology is funded in part by a 2014 Oregon Literary Arts Fellowship.
“I love this book like I love the ocean. The Night, and the Rain, and the River gets under your skin and travels your body from the first page. Each story brings you to the edge of your own heart, or life, or death, or gut grabbing laughter, and as the stories accumulate, you slowly realize you’ve been allowed into a world. These writers will mark you for life; remember their names. We are nothing without each other.”
– Lidia Yuknavitch, author of Dora: A Headcase
“Like the varied and verdant landscape of the Pacific Northwest, the stories in The Night, and the Rain, and the River will make you gasp and grow your heart. Sweet cheating boyfriends, hopeful drunk drivers, angry little sisters, inept sincere fathers, even a lonely goose, all are portrayed with exuberant complexity in their quests for love. These stories offer up bright light in our often overcast skies.”
– Natalie Serber, author of Shout Her Lovely Name
The Gods of Second Chances by Dan Berne
A Powell’s Staff Top 5s best book of 2014
March 2014. Family means everything to Alaskan fisherman Ray Bancroft, raising his granddaughter while battling storms, invasive species, and lawsuit-happy tourists. To navigate, and to catch enough crab to feed her college fund, Ray seeks help from a multitude of gods and goddesses—not to mention ad-libbed rituals performed at sea by his half-Tlingit best friend. But kitchen counter statues and otter bone ceremonies aren’t enough when his estranged daughter returns from prison, swearing she’s clean and sober. Her search for a safe harbor threatens everything Ray holds sacred. Set against a backdrop of ice and mud and loss, Dan Berne’s gripping debut novel explores the unpredictable fissures of memory, and how families can break apart even in the midst of healing.
“Every so often a novel comes along that feels like nothing you’ve read before. Dan Berne’s The Gods of Second Chances is one of those, soulful and shattering in equal measure. Berne shines a light on rarely visited corners of both the world and the human heart in a page-turning story that stays with you long after you’ve reached the end. Be prepared to be amazed.”
– Karen Karbo, bestselling author of Julia Child Rules
A Simplified Map of the Real World by Stevan Allred
Chosen as a Multnomah County PageTurners book club selection, September 2014. A #1 Powell’s Staff Top 5s Pick for 2013. Lauded by numerous Northwest authors, including Robin Cody, Tom Spanbauer, Scott Nadelson, Michael Strelow, Polly Dugan, Matt Love, and others. Stevan appeared at more than twenty readings in the first six months of publication, and his book is in its fourth printing.
September 2013. Stevan Allred’s debut linked short story collection, in the tradition of Olive Kitteridge but with more divorce, was called “funny, sensual, piercing, honest, witty, and a braided woven webbed stitch of stories and people unlike anything I ever read” by Brian Doyle, author of Mink River.
Fifteen linked stories chart a true course through the lives of families, farmers, loggers, former classmates, and the occasional stripper. In the richly imagined town of Renata, Oregon, a man watches his neighbor’s big-screen TV through binoculars. An errant son paints himself silver. Mysterious electrical humming emanates from an enormous barn. A secret abortion from three decades ago gets a public airing. In A Simplified Map of the Real World, intimate boundaries are loosened by divorce and death in a rural community where even an old pickle crock has an unsettling history—and high above the strife and the hope and the often hilarious, geese seek the perfect tailwind. Stevan Allred’s stunning debut deftly navigates the stubborn geography of the human heart.
“Funny, sensual, piercing, honest, witty, and a braided woven webbed stitch of stories and people unlike anything I ever read. It catches something deep and true about the brave and nutty shaggy defiant grace of this place. Fun to read and funner to recommend.”
– Brian Doyle, author of Mink River
Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life
October 2012. Now out of print. Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life is a homegrown anthology featuring interviews and essays by forty-two authors. “If one was not aware of the vibrant literary community that exists within the state of Oregon, then Brave on the Page would be the perfect introduction to the varied literary voices from the state’s working writers,” wrote Renee K. Nicholson of the Los Angeles Review. “Separated into three sections, the first and third consisting of interviews and the second made up of flash essays, this book offers interesting advice and inspiration from journalists, novelists, middle-grade authors, poets, nonfiction writers, writer-activists, short story writers, and all kind of writers in-between.”
Brave on the Page spent four months on the Powell’s Small Press Bestseller List. The book earned a spot on the prestigious Powell’s staff Top Fives lists for 2012, was named a staff pick at Powell’s Hawthorne, and was chosen as the fourth annual Powell’s On Oregon Blog’s Book of the Year.
The anthology includes author interviews with Kristy Athens, Jon Bell, Kim Cooper Findling, Sarah Cypher, Duncan Ellis, Michael Gettel-Gilmartin, Shasta Kearns Moore, Lauren Kessler, Matt Love, Stephen O’Donnell, Liz Prato, Scott Sparling, Julia Stoops, Crystal Wood and Yuvi Zalkow. Flash essays on who, what, when, where, why or how we write were contributed by Stevan Allred, Brian M. Biggs, Emma Burcart, Steve Denniston, S.B. Elliott, Kristen Forbes, Kate Gray, Dian Greenwood, Robert Hill, Sherri H. Hoffman, Harold L. Johnson, Bart King, Amber Krieger, Christi Krug, Gigi Little, Mary Milstead, Gina Ochsner, Martha Ragland, Joanna Rose, Nicole Marie Schreiber, Liz Scott, Jackie Shannon Hollis, Laura Stanfill, Tammy Lynne Stoner, Nancy Townsley, Gregg Townsley and Kristi Wallace Knight.