Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

New book from WSU Press delves into past Palouse books


November 21, 2019

Written to spark interest and celebrate the Northwest’s literary heritage, a new essay collection, “Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers: Washington’s Lost Literary Legacy,” has just been published by Washington State University Press.

Author Peter Donahue hopes readers will share his delight in these early novels, memoirs and poems about the Northwest.

Based on his long-running Retrospective Review column in the Washington State Historical Society journal 'Columbia: The Magazine of Northwest History,' Donahue’s new book includes literary criticism, history and biography.

He combines reappraisals of more than 40 titles with short excerpts and author profiles, including Nard Jones, Elizabeth Marion and others.

'Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers' gives an informed and careful examination of their “vintage” fiction, nonfiction, and poetry works―all at least 50 years old.

These Washington State publications once had wide regional, national and even international readership. Some were bestsellers. Stories of homesteading, apple growing, the Depression-era Inland Northwest, raising an orphaned bear cub, the Whitman Mission and constructing the Grand Coulee Dam and North Cascades Highway captured readers’ imaginations.

Most have fallen out of print and circulation.

The selections span 70 years―from the end of the pioneer period in the late 1800s to the mid-1960s―and portray everyday life, presenting sub-regions such as the Columbia Basin, Grand Coulee, and the Yakima Valley, and delving into social issues such as white settlement and early industrialization.

Donahue is the author of four works of fiction set in Washington, including 'Madison House' and 'Three Sides Water,' and is co-editor of the anthologies 'Reading Seattle' and 'Reading Portland.' He currently teaches English at Wenatchee Valley College-Omak in the Okanogan Valley.

'Salmon Eaters to Sagebrushers' is paperback, 6" x 9", 268 pages and lists for $26.95. It is available through bookstores nationwide, direct from WSU Press at 800-354-7360, or online at wsupress.wsu.edu.

WSU press is a nonprofit, academic publisher associated with Washington State University in Pullman, Wash.


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