Joe McAvoy drove a battered 1967 VW Beetle convertible into Oregon in 1975 with few possessions other than a copy of Sometimes a Great Notion. His love of Oregon and literature has only grown since then. He lives in Lake Oswego with his wife, Kyle.
On your footstool:
Home and When I Was a Child I Read Books by Marilynne Robinson. She challenges me as a reader and as a human being. A tough read but so worth the effort.
Do you prefer reading print or ebooks?
I will only read print unless I am simply scanning the news quickly. My books are an essential part of my surroundings and I don’t easily part with them, though I did a housecleaning recently and reluctantly, and took 409 books to the library and/or Powells.
If you could spend a day with an author, who would it be?
A tough call: Mark Twain. Marilynne Robinson. Bernard Devoto. Penelope Fitzgerald. Flannery O’Connor. John Banville. Walker Percy….Let’s make it a dinner instead!
What book made the biggest impression on you as a kid?
Arundel by Kenneth Roberts. I was transformed. And, in rapid fashion, I consumed all of his other historical novels, a quirky behavior I still exhibit today (reading all of Fitzgerald, Banville, Robinson, Percy etc…. in one massive frenzy) . By the way, Brian Doyle and I have discussed, and continue to discuss, this very question quite often, and I now have five or six copies of ‘Arundel’ as gifts from him or from perusing old musty bookshops in, lets say, Placerville, California. i have given them as gifts to my son at least twice. Alas, he was not interested. And not one of them was in the 409 copies i mentioned above.
What’s your writing routine? Are you an early bird or a night owl?
I am undisciplined, much to my chagrin. It is difficult to me. Lean toward night, with quiet and low glow of a lamp.
Besides writing, what’s your passion?
Family, music, friends, nature. Sorry for the ‘beauty pageant’ response.