Friday, July 15, 2022

Seven historical fiction novels set in the Pacific Northwest

Leyna Krow is the author of the short story collection I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking, which was a Believer Book Award finalist. She lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband and two children.

Krow's new novel is Fire Season.

At Electric Lit she tagged seven historical fiction books set in the Pacific Northwest, including:
Seattle, Washington: Love and Other Consolation Prizes by Jamie Ford

This sweet and inventive novel begins with a horrifying premise based on a true event: an orphan named Ernest is auctioned off as an item of novelty at the 1909 Seattle World’s Fair. In reality, Ernest was an infant at the time he was sold, and his fate is unknown.

In Ford’s retelling, he is a twelve-year-old who had recently traveled alone to Seattle from China. He is bought by a Madame at a high-end brothel where he is to work as a houseboy, and where he ends up forming a found family as loving as it is unexpected. The novel jumps between time as adult Ernest in 1962 (the year of another Seattle World’s Fair) tries first to conceal his past from his investigative journalist daughter, then to let her into it in a way that makes sense to both of them.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue