fiction 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...

Cover of Motherhood Made a Man Out of Me

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...

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...

Cover of Call Me Home

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...

Cover of The Diamond Lane

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...

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...

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...

Cover of Brilliance

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...

Cover of Dora: A Headcase

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...

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...

Cover of Aftermath

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,...

Cover of The Luminist

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...

Cover of Little Green

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....

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...

Cover of Faraway Places

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....

Cover of Leaving Brooklyn

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...

Cover of Clown Girl

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...

Cover of Seaview

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...

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,...

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...

Cover of Soldiers in Hiding

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...

Cover of Madison House

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...

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...

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...

Cover of Saving Stanley

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...

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...