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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

Driving to Vernonia


Driving to Vernonia Cover

ISBN13: 9780963265555
ISBN10: 0963265555
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

(driv•ing to Ver•non•ia) v phrase: the act of locating a person of significance in one's past.

Before we get into this story, you and I, it's probably best if I declare myself. I am the narrator and protagonist of this tale. And since I am asking you to ride along with me on an improbable journey I think I ought to give you a heads-up. After all, this is a story that at times will be trying; I mean it has been even for me, so you deserve some assurance that it goes somewhere. And as I get ready to spill the beans, the whole business jumps back in my head like it's happening right now; and that's the way I'm going to tell it to you — in the now. I wouldn't be inviting you to share a slice of my life if it weren't for the fact that it turns out to be sort of a metaphor this "Driving to Vernonia". Maybe you will relate to some of it, maybe most of it; then again maybe none of it, but whatever, I hope you'll stay with me because I think it may be important.

This is about a search. You like stories that look for something, right? Without revealing too much, I will tell you this. Once upon a time I tried to find someone I used to know. Ever done that? Bet you have, or at least thought about it. Anyway, back before the millennium, in late 1999, my life took a hard left and by the spring of 2000, I had this pressing need to relocate someone from way back and that's at the core of this tale.

As Driving to Vernonia unfolded for me, it gradually became a metaphor for revisiting an intense period of life experienced in a person's younger days. It is all about reconnecting with someone who thought I mattered and served as a model in my life. But this story, is not only about going back to find such a person, and expressing gratitude, or making amends, but to discover if remembered goodness can remedy a troubled time in a person's adulthood. I had no way of anticipating the rest of it, the part that...well you'll find out. Even now I can't believe what happened.

See you along the way. Buckle-up.

Thank you,
Edmund Joyce Kirby-Smith
December 2000


Edmund Kirby-Smith's life is in ruins. He thinks the way back from his rage and despair is to find Richard Vickerman, a man who used to have answers. Set in the northwest, Driving to Vernonia is a penetrating story of deprivation, laced with love and anger, violence and self-discovery.

About the Author

George Byron Wright was born in The Dalles, Oregon. Along with his mother and brother, he migrated to three other small Oregon towns as his father pursued the life of a mortician. Living in Baker City, Tillamook and Roseburg endowed him with a lifelong fondness for small places.

Following a lengthy career in the not-for-profit sector, during which time he wrote professionally, publishing books on management and board development, George returned to his love of fiction. In 1996 he began work on what has become his "Oregon Trio", three novels set in the small towns of his youth. Baker City 1948 was published in 2005, followed by Tillamook 1952 in 2006, and now Roseburg 1959, completes this unique body of work.

George lives with his wife and first reader, Betsy, in Portland, Oregon.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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georgec3pub, October 22, 2009 (view all comments by georgec3pub)
Where do you go when you’ve hit rock bottom, when your wife of 27 years has left you and you’ve lost the only job you’ve ever really had? Edmund Joyce Kirby-Smith, so desperate for some kind of diversion that Martha Stewart’s craft projects are beginning to look good to him, doesn’t know how to begin to reclaim his life. Goaded into action by his sister, he sets out to find “Dick Vic,” a mentor from an earlier life. Like many “road stories”, “Driving to Vernonia” is as much about the journey as Edmund’s final destination. George Byron Wright, who lives in Portland, is the author of three previous novels set in small-town Oregon.

—Kate Schneider, Special to The Oregonian
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Product Details

Wright, George Byron
C3 Publications
Portland, OR

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » Pacific Northwest » Literature Folklore and Memoirs

Driving to Vernonia Used Trade Paper
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Product details 206 pages C3 Publications - English 9780963265555 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Edmund Kirby-Smith's life is in ruins. He thinks the way back from his rage and despair is to find Richard Vickerman, a man who used to have answers. Set in the northwest, Driving to Vernonia is a penetrating story of deprivation, laced with love and anger, violence and self-discovery.
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