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MacReads to feature ‘The Jump-Off Creek’

Molly Gloss, author of the award-winning book The Jump-Off Creek, will read from her book Monday, April 30, at 7:30 p.m. in Nicholson Library at Linfield College. The reading is a culmination of this year’s MacReads program.

In its eighth year, MacReads is a community-wide book reading and discussion that culminates in a presentation by the author. Schools, book clubs and residents throughout Yamhill County are encouraged to participate in the program. Gloss’ talk will track the public perception and the reality of the lives of women homesteaders, and other independent women across an historical and literary spectrum. Books will be available for purchase and signing at the event, which is open to the public.

The story of The Jump-Off Creek highlights the life and struggles of Lydia Bennett Sanderson, a hardship-honed widow, homesteading in the backcountry of Oregon in 1895. As the months pass, there is good and ill fortune, the exchange of fair-and-square favors and, at the close, a long road back from trial and grief. The Los Angeles Times called the book “A classic of its kind.”

Gloss is a fourth-generation Oregonian who resides in Portland. She was raised in rural Oregon in the 1950s and began her writing career with Western novels. Her novel The Jump-Off Creek was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award for American Fiction, and a winner of both the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award and the Oregon Book Award. In 1996, Gloss was a recipient of a Whiting Writers Award. Some of her other work includes The Dazzle of Day, which was named a New York Times Notable Book and was awarded the PEN Center West Fiction Prize.

MacReads uses a common book to create community conversations that cross lines of generation and acquaintance. It is sponsored by Friends of Nicholson Library, Friends of McMinnville Public Library, Third Street Books and the Linfield English Department. This program was made possible in part by a grant from Oregon Humanities (OH), a statewide nonprofit organization and an independent affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, which funds OH’s grant program. Books are available at Third Street Books, McMinnville Public Library and Linfield’s Nicholson Library.

For more information, contact Susan Barnes Whyte, director of Linfield Libraries, 503-883-2517.