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Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoirby Kim Cooper Findling
Synopses & Reviews
In her debut as an author, Findling's memoir unfolds the story of an Oregon girl coming of age in the 1970s and 80s, navigating her way through pick-up trucks, dive bars, higher education, and backwoods trails before finding a place she belongs.
Beginning with her childhood in Coos County, Findling relates a rural unbringing spent walking beaches and hiking in the woods with her forester father, attending summer camp just over the hill from the Oregon Country Fair, road-tripping to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival with schoolmates, and learning about the fickleness of love in campgrounds, beer joints and on the University of Oregon campus. Yet, following a move to Oregon's biggest city after college, Findling lost her way and her connection to Oregon's landscape, becoming caught up in the drugs and booze that flowed so freely in Portland's restaurant scene. But it was Oregon that helped Findling find herself again later, this time on the east side of the mountains, where she found clarity in High Desert trails and a wide-open sky, as well as life's most grounding phenomenon — love.
In 23 essays set over 20 years, Findling traces her own coming-of-age story against the beauty and complexity of the Oregon landscape. "In so many ways my story is every small-town kid's story, especially those who grew up in Oregon in the '70s and '80s. Our beautiful rural towns were a weird combination of innocent and harsh, and almost all of us spent our youth waiting to get out. Yet we were totally unprepared for the racous, fast-paced city. For me, all that action was completely irresistible, and ultimately destructive," says Findling. "It was so much fun to write about Oregon's dichotomies — lovely innocence and a wild darkside. I realized they are my own."
"In Chance of Sun, Kim Cooper Findling presents a fresh and distinct literary voice. I might even call it sexy. At long last we have a memoir by someone that captures the fantastically loose and earthy spirit of growing up in Oregon during the 1970s and 80s." Nestucca Spit Press Publisher Matt Love
"Intimate and authentic...she writes with the true language of Oregon, of the people who grew up in this wonderful state between the years of the pioneering spirit and gentrification." Elizabeth Quinn, editor of the High Desert Journal
"Fresh, alive, exciting and bold writing. A compelling piece of writing, heartbreaking and redemptive." Debra Gwartney
About the Author
Kim Cooper Findling grew up on the Oregon Coast, spent several years in the Willamette Valley and has lived in Central Oregon for 16 years. Her work has appeared in many publications over the last decade, including Travel Oregon, Horizon Air, Oregon Quarterly, Hip Mama, Sky West, The Best Places to Kiss NW and High Desert Journal. She is the author of Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler, published by Globe Pequot Press, May 2011.
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