Forest Avenue Press has acquired world rights to Parts Per Million, Julia Stoops’s debut novel, a richly layered story of loss and transformation that plays out within the subculture of radical activism.
Parts Per Million, shortlisted for the PEN Bellwether Prize, is slated for publication in spring 2018.
Set in Portland, Oregon, during the Bush administration, and told in alternating points of view, the novel explores how personal and political motivations clash in the pursuit of social change. When John Nelson abandoned his government job to join a scrappy band of activists, he didn’t realize trying to save the world would be so hard. His ideals remain strong, but his optimism is wearing thin. His housemates—computer hacker Jen Owens and Vietnam vet Irving Fetzer—still think he’s a square. And their underground radio show can’t compete with the corporate media.
As the trio documents eco-activism, participates in anti-war protests, and investigates fraud at a Portland university, Nelson falls in love with an unlikely houseguest, Deirdre, a traveling photographer from Ireland—and a recovering addict. Fetzer recognizes her condition but keeps it secret, setting off a page-turning chain of events that threaten to destroy the activists’ friendship even as they’re trying to hold the world together, one radio show at a time.
“We’ve never published a political novel before, but it’s time to add to the national conversation,” said Publisher Laura Stanfill. “For more than a decade, Julia has tirelessly documented the events of 2002, through researching and recording media reports and interviewing first-hand sources, and the result is a stunningly crafted, fictional depiction of how a handful of people running on their beliefs and a very small budget can cause powerful social change. Parts Per Million is more relevant than ever amid this uncertain political climate.”
Learn more at Julia’s website, partspermillion.net.