Author Keith Scribner talks about the writers who influence his work in general, and specifically in THE OREGON EXPERIMENT. Ken Kesey’s SOMETIMES A GREAT NOTION and Bernard Malamud’s A NEW LIFE are two that he highlights.
Naomi and Scanlon Pratt are at the threshold of a new life. East Coast transplants in small town Oregon, Scanlon will be a professor at the university—teaching mass movements and domestic radicalism—and Naomi, a professional ‘nose’ who lost her sense of smell, is pregnant with their first child.
For Scanlon, all of this is ideal. With ample opportunity for field research, he finds a subject in Clay, a young anarchist who despises him but adores Naomi. And he also becomes involved with a local secessionist movement—and its sensuous, free-spirited leader. Naomi, though far less enchanted, discovers Oregon offers a multitude of scents. Her nose has returned—but she isn’t pleased with everything she smells. As they welcome their newborn, their lives become increasingly intertwined with Clay’s, and they soon must decide exactly where their loyalties lie—before the world Scanlon has been dabbling in engulfs them all.
A contemporary civil war between desire and betrayal, rich in crisp, luxuriant detail, The Oregon Experiment explores a minefield of convictions and complications at once political, social, and intimately personal.