Titles from Hawthorne Books

For readers who prefer madcap to claptrap, quixotic pranks to neurotic angst, Poe Ballantine is a literary tonic: Bittersweet, potent, and peculiarly entertaining.

Tom Robbins

Eddie Plum, who insists he’s been unjustifiably committed to a California psychiatric hospital, manages to finally escape after fourteen years of incarceration to start his life anew. On the run, he holes up in a sheltered barrio on a bluff above the Pacific Ocean owned by his wealthy but...Forward

California Calling split my heart open and reminded me how much immigrations matter, how much we all carry the traces of other worlds.

Lidia Yuknavitch
Author of The Chronology of Water

California Calling is a lyrical self-interrogation of obsession, emigration, and identity. Natalie Singer’s story opens in a courtroom on a witness stand, where she’s forced to testify in a family breakup that changes the course of her life. At sixteen Natalie emigrates from Montreal and the...Forward

Frank Meeink
Jody M. Roy, Ph.D

Autobiography of a Recovering Skinhead, 2nd edition

  • Introduction by Elizabeth Wurtzel
  • nonfiction / memoir

Frank Meeink’s book is a candid and captivating story of upbeat transformation of a raw racist into a courageous citizen which has much to teach all of us. Don’t miss it!

Cornel West

This new edition of the acclaimed Frank Meeink story includes a preface by the author, nine new chapters, an updated epilogue, and resource guides for substance abuse recovery and countering racism. This is Frank’s raw telling of his descent into America’s Nazi underground and his ultimate...Forward

Teruo Kurosaki

True Portland

  • nonfiction / travel

True Portland is more than a travel guide, it’s a curated experience.

True Portland: The Unofficial Guide for Creative People is more than a travel guide, it’s a curated experience that captures the essence of what makes Portland different from other cities. In addition to the essential information about where to eat, sleep, shop, run, create, listen, and think,...Forward

Jenny Forrester has hit the mother lode.

Lidia Yuknavitch
Author of The Chronology of Water

On the Colorado Plateau between slot canyons and rattlesnakes, Jenny Forrester grew up with her mother and brother in a single-wide trailer proudly displaying an American flag. Forrester’s powerfully eloquent story reveals a rural small town comprising God-fearing Republicans, ranchers, Mormons,...Forward

Karen Karbo

Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me

  • Introduction by Whitney Otto
  • fiction

Karen Karbo is a very funny writer – from near slapstick to wry wit. Amazing.

The New York Times

Brooke and Mary Rose are best friends. Brooke is the mother of a six-month-old. Mary Rose is pregnant. Brooke is married to Lyle, though, at times, she wonders why. Mary Rose would be married if Ward, the father of her child, weren’t already. Ward and Brooke are cousins… A comedy of manners and...Forward

This book is so goddamn good, you’ll plotz.

Lidia Yuknavitch
Author of The Chronology of Water

Bestselling memoirist and psychotherapist Kerry Cohen (Loose Girl: A Memoir of Promiscuity) explores complicated female friendships in Girl Trouble. Beginning with her relationship with her sister Tyler Cohen, who illustrates the memoir, Kerry examines the many ways female friendships can affect a...Forward

Peter Selgin

The Inventors

  • Introduction by Lidia Yuknavitch
  • nonfiction / memoir

Peter Selgin is a born writer, capable of taking any subject and exploring it from a new angle, with wit, grace, and erudition.

Oliver Sacks

In the Fall of 1970, at the start of eighth grade, Peter Selgin fell in love with the young teacher who’d arrived from Oxford wearing Frye boots, with long blond hair, and a passion for his students that was as intense as it was rebellious. The son of an emotionally remote inventor, Peter was...Forward

Sallie Tisdale


  • nonfiction / essays

Violation contains important work from an important writer. I’m so glad it’s out in the world.

Meghan Daum
The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion

Sallie Tisdale is the author of seven books on such varied subjects as medical technology, her pioneer ancestors, and Buddhist women teachers. Her many essays have appeared in Harper’s, Conjunctions, The New Yorker, Antioch Review, Threepenny Review, and many other journals. This first collection...Forward

Steven Gillis ... the 21st century heir to Saul Bellow, John Cheever, and Stanley Elkin.

Richard Grayson
Winter in Brooklyn

What is the role of art in the world? And what is the responsibility of the artist? After the death of his wife, Michael Benchere, a well-respected sculptor and once-famous architect, looks for ways to redefine the meaning of his life through the purpose of his art. Determined to create a sculpture...Forward

Janet Sternburg

White Matter

  • nonfiction / memoir

This is a unique book. The writing is beautiful, the observations refined, the subject gripping.

Antonio Damasio
Descartes’ Error and Self Comes to Mind

White Matter: A Memoir of Family and Medicine is the story of a close-knit working-class Bostonian Jewish family of five sisters and one brother and the impact they and their next generation endured due to the popularization of lobotomy during the twentieth century. When Janet Sternburg’s...Forward

Life Is Short—Art Is Shorter is not just the first anthology to gather both mini-essays and short-short stories. Readers, writers, and teachers will get an anthology; a course’s worth of writing exercises; a rally for compression, concision, and velocity in an increasingly digital,...Forward

Megan Kruse

Call Me Home

  • Introduction by Elizabeth Gilbert
  • fiction

Megan Kruse is a young writer of raw and fearless talent.

Elizabeth Gilbert
Eat, Pray, Love

Call Me Home has an epic scope in the tradition of Louise Erdrich’s The Plague of Doves or Marilynne Robinson’s Housekeeping and braids the stories of a family in three distinct voices: Amy, who leaves her Texas home at nineteen to start a new life with a man she barely knows, and her two...Forward

Karen Karbo

The Diamond Lane

  • Introduction by Jane Smiley
  • fiction

This kind of novel is a devil to pull off…and Ms. Karbo has done her job brilliantly.

The New York Times Book Review

Reluctantly back home in L.A. after sixteen years in Africa, documentary filmmaker Mouse FitzHenry longs for the harsh, teeming jungle life her dark lens took in so lovingly. Wrenched stateside by a family emergency, with her longtime boyfriend/collaborator in tow, Mouse is instantly beleaguered by...Forward


Ashley Gartland
The Oregonian

For residents and visitors alike, Food Lover’s Guide to Portland is a road map to finding the best of the best in America’s favorite do-it-yourself foodie Mecca. Navigate Portland’s edible bounty with this all-access pass to hundreds of producers, purveyors, distillers, bakers, food carts, and...Forward

The Mary Smokes Boys is a gem. The writing is absolutely terrific and the characters distinct and deftly revealed. This story is a heart wrecker.

Barry Lopez
Winner of the American Book Award

Grey’s mother dies giving birth to his sister, Irene, and he prays that she will be returned to him so he might protect her from the world as his father did not. This prayer, Grey believes, is answered in his sister. He becomes obsessed with protecting her purity and innocence while befriending...Forward

Intelligence, wit, generosity, love, wisdom, insight, humility, guts, heart-crushing truth and spirit-lifting grace—it’s all there in I Loved You More. This is Tom Spanbauer’s wrenching a

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

Tom Spanbauer’s first novel in seven years is a rich and expansive tale of love, sex, and heartbreak covering 25 years. At the heart of the book is a love triangle: two men, one woman, all of them writers.  The first chapters are set in the mid-80s in New York City. At Columbia, Ben forms a bond...Forward

Ariel Gore

The End of Eve

  • nonfiction / memoir

How Ariel puts human tenderness on the page is an act of poetry damn close to sublime.

Tom Spanbauer
Author of In The City of Shy Hunters

At age 39, Ariel Gore has everything she’s always wanted: a successful writing career, a long-term partnership, a beautiful if tiny home, a daughter in college and a son in preschool. But life’s happy endings don’t always last. If it’s not one thing, after all, it’s your mother.

Knock knock.


Anthony McCarten


  • fiction / history

A truly remarkable book!

Historical Novel Society, UK

Thomas Edison holds over 1,000 patents including the light bulb and the phonograph, but he is broke. To the rescue rides the “world’s banker,” J. P. Morgan, with his offer of almost unlimited cash if the two men will join forces to illuminate America and bring about a revolution in the way the...Forward

Poe Ballantine

Love & Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere

  • Introduction by Cheryl Strayed
  • nonfiction / memoir

This is his best book ever.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

For well over 20 years, Poe Ballantine traveled America, taking odd jobs, living in small rooms, and trying to make a living as a writer. At age 46, he finally settled with his Mexican immigrant wife in Chadron, Nebraska, where they had a son who was red-flagged as autistic. Poe published four...Forward

Jay Ponteri


  • nonfiction / memoir

Essayistic, narrative, and meditative by turns, Ponteri’s is a beautiful and truly courageous voice.

Jenny Boully
Author of The Book of Beginnings and Endings

​Married writer Jay Ponteri finds himself infatuated with a woman other than his wife and writes a manuscript to explore his feelings. Discovery of this manuscript understandably strains his marriage. Wedlocked offers readers an intimate, idiosyncratic view of a human institution that can so...Forward

Monica Wesolowska

Holding Silvan

  • Introduction by Erica Jong
  • nonfiction / memoir

A tender, poignant and courageous narrative – insightful and beautifully written.

Abraham Verghese
Author of Cutting for Stone

​In the opening of Holding Silvan, Monica Wesolowska gives birth to her first child, a healthy-seeming boy who is taken from her arms for “observation” when he won’t stop crying. Within days, Monica and her husband have been given the grimmest of prognoses for Silvan. They must make a...Forward

Nadelson chronicles his life in progress with the wry, warm honesty of an old friend catching up.

Meghan Daum
author of Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House

​Beginning in the summer of 2004, Scott Nadelson’s life fell apart. His fiancée left him a month before their planned wedding. He moved into a drafty attic. His car’s brakes went out. He learned that his cat was dying. Over the next two years, he’d struggle, with equivocal and sometimes...Forward

Gregory Martin

Stories for Boys

  • nonfiction / memoir

Moving, brave, and unforgettable, this deeply personal book pushes us all further into the light.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

​In this memoir of fathers and sons, Gregory Martin struggles to reconcile the father he thought he knew with a man who has just survived a suicide attempt, a man who had been having anonymous affairs with men throughout his thirty-nine years of marriage, and who now must begin his life as a gay...Forward

Lidia Yuknavitch

Dora: A Headcase

  • Introduction by Chuck Palahniuk
  • fiction

Dora is too much for Sigmund Freud but she’s just right for us – raunchy, sharp and so funny it hurts.

Katherine Dunn
author of Geek Love

Ida needs a shrink; or so her philandering father thinks, and he sends her to a Seattle psychiatrist. Immediately wise to the head games of her new shrink, who she nicknames Siggy or Sig, Ida begins a coming-of-age journey. At the beginning of her therapy Ida, whose alter ego is Dora, and her small...Forward

James Bernard Frost has given us the best novel, ever, about this strange underground world of misfits and heroes.

Chuck Palahniuk
Author of Tell-All

A Very Minor Prophet is the story of how Barth Flynn, a barista swimming upstream against purposelessness in Portland, Oregon, becomes the faithful scribe of Joseph Patrick Booker. Booker is a dwarf preacher who serves Voodoo donuts, Stumptown coffee, and, while his congregation throws PBR cans...Forward

Scott Nadelson


  • fiction / stories

Scott Nadelson writes brilliantly.

Margot Livesey
author of The House on Fortune Street

​The characters in Scott Nadelson’s third collection are living in the wake of momentous events—the rupture of relationships, the loss of loved ones, the dissolution of dreams—and yet they find new ways of forging on with their lives, making accommodations that are sometimes delusional,...Forward

David Rocklin

The Luminist

  • Introduction by Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • fiction

…The sweep of Dr. Zhivago with the Heart of Darkness depth of Joseph Conrad – a staggeringly good book.

Kirkus Reviews

In colonial India, at a time of growing friction between the ruling British and the restless Indian populace, a Victorian woman and her young Tamil Indian servant defy convention, class, and heartbreak to investigate what is gained—and lost—by holding life still. Suggested by the life and work...Forward

Lidia Yuknavitch

The Chronology of Water

  • Introduction by Chelsea Cain
  • nonfiction / memoir

This is the book I’ve been waiting to read all of my life.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

This is not your mother’s memoir. Lifelong swimmer and Olympic hopeful Lidia Yuknavitch accepts a college swimming scholarship in Texas in order to escape an abusive father and an alcoholic, suicidal mother. After losing her scholarship to drugs and alcohol, Lidia moves to Eugene and enrolls in...Forward

Loretta Stinson

Little Green

  • Introduction by Robin Givens
  • fiction

Little Green is tender and tough, equal parts grit and grace. It’s a riveting and unforgettable debut.

Cheryl Strayed
Author of Wild

In Little Green, Loretta Stinson’s stunning, redemptive first novel, tragedy leaves Janie Marek orphaned and in the care of her stepmother. The novel opens two years later, in 1976, when Janie, at sixteen, runs away. A ride she’s hitchhiked leaves her on the freeway outside a Northwestern town....Forward

The brisk pace, flip tone, and confounding convictions of its 17th-century narrator make the novel feel contemporary.

The Believer

​Sørine, a female dwarf from Denmark, is given as a gift to the Russian Tsar Peter the Great during his visit to Copenhagen. Sørine travels to St. Petersburg where she becomes a jester at the Tsar’s functions. She enjoys her new life and falls in love with the Tsar’s favorite dwarf, but...Forward

Tom Spanbauer

Faraway Places

  • Introduction by A.M. Homes
  • fiction

A taut, brutal narrative … that comes to hypnotize, shimmering like the brilliant sun on the alfalfa fields.

The New York Times Book Review

​It is early 1950s Idaho and the season of the Chinook—a warm February wind that blows across the flat cookie-sheet plains from the wrong direction. It brings arid earth and hard times, marking the end of childhood for thirteen-year-old Jake Weber and the beginning of trouble for his family....Forward

Name five books and/or authors we all need to read? Poe Ballantine’s exquisitely funky 501 Minutes to Christ.

Tom Robbins
Author of Jitterbug Perfume

​Poe Ballantine’s second collection of personal essays follows in the tradition of Things I Like About America. Stories range from “The Irving,” which details Mr. Ballantine’s diabolical plan to punch John Irving in the nose after opening for him before an audience of 2,000 that launched the...Forward

Lynne Sharon Schwartz

Leaving Brooklyn

  • Introduction by Ursula Hegi
  • fiction

Stunning. Coming of age is seldom registered as disarmingly as it is in Leaving Brooklyn.

The New York Times Book Review

With this erotic, exquisitely written novel, Lynne Sharon Schwartz confirms her status as one of our most daring and accomplished writers. Leaving Brooklyn is a book with and about double vision, and it brilliantly travels the boundaries between the visible and the hidden, conformity and...Forward

Monica Drake

Clown Girl

  • Introduction by Chuck Palahniuk
  • fiction

Clown Girl is more than a great book. Clown Girl is its own reality.

Chuck Palahniuk
Author of Fight Club

In this darkly comic novel, Clown Girl lives in Baloneytown, a neighborhood so run down and penniless that drugs, balloon animals, and even rubber chickens contribute to the local currency. Against a backdrop of petty crime, Clown Girl struggles to find her place in the world of high art; she has...Forward

Toby Olson


  • Introduction by Robert Coover
  • fiction

Unlike any other recent American novel in the freshness of its approach and vision.

The New York Times Book Review

Toby Olson’s PEN/Faulkner Award–winning novel Seaview follows its main characters, Allen and Melinda, across an American wasteland to return Melinda to her childhood home on Cape Cod; Melinda is dying of cancer and hopes to reach the seaside where she was born before her end comes. Allen earns...Forward

The stories in Scott Nadelson’s The Cantor’s Daughter seethe with psychological insight.

Cai Emmons
Author of His Mother's Son

These stories capture Jewish New Jersey suburbanites in moments of crucial transition, when they have the opportunity to connect with those closest to them or forever miss their chance for true intimacy. In “The Headhunter,” two men develop an unlikely friendship when Len Siegel, a recruiter,...Forward

Poe Ballantine is a writer with a keen ear and a blistering wit.

The Austin Chronicle

​“It’s impossible not to be charmed by Edgar Donahoe” (Publishers Weekly), and he’s back for another misguided adventure. When Edgar is expelled from college for drunkenly bellowing expletives from a dorm window at 3:00 a.m., he hitchhikes to Colorado and trains as a cook. A postcard arrives...Forward

Richard Wiley

Soldiers in Hiding

  • Introduction by Wole Soyinka
  • fiction

A rich and ingenious novel that succeeds brilliantly.

The New York Times

Teddy Maki is a Japanese American jazz musician trapped in Tokyo and dragged into the Japanese army after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Thirty years later, Maki is a big star on Japanese TV, but wrestles with the guilt he’s been carrying since the war. This all-new edition of Soldiers in Hiding...Forward

Peter Donahue

Madison House

  • fiction / history

A resplendent novel examining life in Seattle in the early 20th century.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

​Peter Donahue’s debut novel, Madison House, which won the 2005 Langum Prize for Historical Fiction, chronicles turn-of-the-century Seattle’s explosive transformation from frontier outpost to major metropolis. Maddie Ingram, owner of Madison House, and her quirky and endearing boarders find...Forward

Fascinating, humorous, and wise … it deserves its place on bookshelves along with other Northwest classics.

Craig Lesley
Author of Storm Riders

​Michael Strelow weaves the story of a town and its mysteries in his debut novel, The Greening of Ben Brown, a 2005 Oregon Book Award Finalist for fiction. Ben Brown, the protagonist, becomes a citizen of East Leven, Oregon, after he recovers from an electrocution that has not killed him but has...Forward

A beautifully written book. Impossible to put down.

James Frey
Author of A Million Little Pieces

This intense and compact novel crackles with obsession, betrayal, and madness, and was a 2005 Oregon Book Award Finalist for fiction. As the narrator becomes fixated on his best friend’s girlfriend, his precarious hold on sanity rapidly deteriorates into delusion and violence. This story can be...Forward

Mark Mordue


  • nonfiction

A lovely, impressionistic book … idiosyncratic, entertaining, vulnerable and unpretentious.


Award-winning Australian journalist Mark Mordue invites you on his world trip that ranges from a Rolling Stones concert in Istanbul to talking with mullahs and junkies in Tehran, and from a cricket match in Calcutta to an S&M bar in New York, in addition to many points in between. Mordue chronicles...Forward

Scott Nadelson

Saving Stanley

  • fiction / stories

…A substantial, serious, and intelligent contribution to contemporary Jewish American writing.

David Shields
author of A Handbook for Drowning

​Scott Nadelson’s interrelated short stories are graceful, vivid narratives that bring into sudden focus the spirit and the stubborn resilience of the Brickmans, a Jewish family of four living in suburban New Jersey. The central character, Daniel Brickman, forges obstinately through his own...Forward

D’Arcy Fallon

So Late, So Soon

  • nonfiction / memoir

A clear-eyed, compassionate, and rewarding book.

Bernard Cooper
Author of Maps to Anywhere

​D’Arcy Fallon offers an irreverent, fly-on-the-wall view of the Lighthouse Ranch, a Christian commune she called home for three years in the mid-1970s. At eighteen years old, when life’s questions overwhelmed her and reconciling her family past with her future seemed impossible, she accidentally...Forward

A wry and ergoty experience.

Gobshite Quarterly

Set against the decaying halls of a San Diego rest home in the 1970s, God Clobbers Us All is the shimmering, hysterical, and melancholy account of eighteen-year-old surfer-boy orderly Edgar Donahoe and his struggles with romance, death, friendship, and an ill-advised affair with the wife of a...Forward

A modern-day Kerouac.

Mark Jude Poirier
Author of Goats

​Poe Ballantine’s risky personal essays are populated with odd jobs, eccentric characters, boarding houses, buses, and beer. He takes us along on his Greyhound bus journey through small town America (including a detour to Mexico), exploring what it means to be human. Written with piercing...Forward

Edited by Jeff Meyers

September 11

  • nonfiction / current affairs

A remarkable anthology.

Los Angeles Times

The events of September 11, 2001, their myriad repercussions, and our varied and often contradictory responses to them have inspired this collection of West Coast writers’ responses to the terrorist acts. By virtue of history and geographic distance, the West Coast has developed a community...Forward