Set in the times of the California gold rush, The Appointment is a detailed and graphic elegy for America's wide-open plains, rivers, and mountains, and the people who passed though them, both for good and ill. It is a clear-eyed vision of how greed, love, frontier mastery and the doomed native tribes contended for control of this stupendous immensity, and how one young woman and her father were taken up in the resulting maelstrom that has become America's story.
"The raw power of winter storms in the mountains and arctic storms at sea make landscape itself a forceful player in Keeble's tale. Harsh and at time deadly environments frame his characters' inner struggles within a larger context utterly beyond their control Still, it is the power of love, a family's fierce devotion and unswerving friendship that propel this exciting and deeply moving novel. Keeble has crafted an armchair-gripping eco-thriller that is broad and generous in its portrayal of ordinary people caught in the grip of unchecked power."
(Tim, McNulty, The Seattle Times. September 8, 2013.)
"John Keeble's . . . Nocturnal America . . . is planted in the American Northwest, and it uses as its raw material, the wind, rain, fire, snow, horses, cattle, mosquitoes, mud, porcupines and chickens that are plentiful in that place. Keeble presents the brutal landscape with ambivalence, so that a read is sometimes moved to ask: Who could live here? Only to answer a few pages later: Who wouldn't want to try?"
Ellen Slezak, Los Angeles Times Book Reviews, December 17, 2006.
A construction project in the desert of eastern Oregon forms the basis for a story with deep political, mystical, and--for its time--prescient implications: the impingement of American imperialism on its own native territory. Set in the 1980s, the project underway is to be a "prison for profit" where alien captives are incarcerated in secret. Broken Ground is about the seen world of excavated earth, steel, and concrete, and the unseen world of ghosts and spirits, bound together by an undertaking that expresses the root of both a clandestine and overt political evil that extends well into our present time.
The story of Wes Erks, an itinerant machinist and "high-class jack-of-all-trades," who takes a hefty fee for smuggling a group of illegal Chinese immigrants from Vancouver, B.C., to San Francisco in the 1970s. Three are teenaged "Hong Kong boys," one of whom has been grievously injured. The fourth, a fugitive and the son of a rich Chinese-American casino owner, means to settle an old grudge against a secret society, the Triad, but is himself being pursued. The tale of the perilous journey of these five, along with a woman who becomes implicated in a double-cross, and of Erks' wife, Ruby, a force in her own right, is otherwise filled with vivid fictional and historical figures. The whole of it, what the Bloomsbury Review has termed an "underground classic," conjures the story of the West itself.
The Tenth Anniversary edition of Out of the Channel (Eastern Washington University Press) adds to its evocative, original text a new and full assessment of the permutations and twists of big money, big litigation, and "petroleum speak" from the vantage point of several years' remove, as well as an account of the 1991, $1 billion civil settlement between Exxon, the U.S. Justice Department, and the State of Alaska. In this now definitive book on the oil spill, all the primary concerns of the first edition are updated with new material, including a discussion of the possible cause of the ship's grounding on Bligh Reef, the fate of Captain Joseph Hazelwood, the long lasting effects of the spill, the projected death toll among animals, the little-known 1993 fishermen's tanker blockade, late-developing evidence about the true quantity of oil spilled, and the benefits and abuses of professional science.
A publication of the University of Washington Press and The Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists, Beyond Boundaries / Atzlán y Más Allá presents the work of Ruben Trejo, spanning the period from l964 to 2010. The book has full color photograhs of nearly seventy works, including pieces from Trejo's delightful puppet-like Clothes for Day of the Dead series, work from the Catríns and Calzones series--cast bronze underwear and jalapeños--that challenge the Spanish machismo culture, seminal examples of his life-long exploration of the cruciform image, and much more.