Karelia Stetz-Waters is the author of the novel The Admirer and the serial novel The Eastbank Killer; her work has also appeared in Calyx and First Time: An Anthology of Lost Virginity. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Oregon and a bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from Smith College. A member of Willamette Writers and the Gold Crown Literary Society, Karelia teaches technical writing and English composition at Linn-Benton Community College. She lives in Albany, Oregon, with her wife, Fay, their pug, Lord Byron, and their cat, Cyrus the Disembowler. Having grown up during the violent political debate surrounding Oregon's infamous anti-gay Ballot Measure 9, Karelia's first young adult novel, Forgive Me If I've Told You This Before, is loosely based on her own experiences of growing up gay in Oregon in the early nineties.
Queer Books Across America: Incredible Lesbian and Bisexual Novels and Memoirs Set in Every State
Sara Quin's front-page endorsement of this novel -- she cried her eyes out, and was "so touched and amazed to read something that so closely echoed my own adolescence" -- is likely all you need to fall for the story of shy, nerdy Triinu Hoffman of rural Oregon, who in 1989 is finding herself (and her love for girls) while her town takes sides over equal rights.
Washington State's Olympic Peninsula is what the short novels in the collection Three Sides Water have in common. It travels from a 1925-set harrowing, suspenseful tale of a woman's assault and its lifelong aftermath, to a 1970 coming-of-age tale set in the waning days of a juvenile detention center, to a present-day wry, comic look at one man's obsession with... wait for it: Bing Crosby.
In On Rialto Beach, Marguerite is half of an identical twin set who has entered show business via the flim-flam performances of her mystic act boss. While on vacation in his remote luxury camp, Marguerite experiences the delight of drawing in a treehouse and the company of visiting silent screen idol Harold Lloyd. But she is also brutally attacked by a hired man. The summer and its secrets haunt her.In At Fort Worden, readers meet chronic delinquent Avery, who spends his last year as a ward of the state. He runs away from his detention center, experiences his first love with fellow inmate Brenda and friendship with a transgender teen. Through them he awakens to the tumultuous world at large.
Finally, Out of Shelton follows Chris, who has been brought up by his grandmother in the image of the singing star Bing Crosby, and finds his own identity submerging into Der Bingle's, warts and all. It proves promising for his entertainment career but wreaks havoc on his love and family life. The pull of place comes to his rescue, along with some dosing with Anafranil. Though widely different in tone and genre, these three short novels unite in their compelling setting. Each shares the pull of place: this spectacular corner of the continent. A delightful tour de force. Highly recommended.
By Eileen Charbonneau for the Oregon Historical Society--Oregon Historical Society "Three Sides Water "