Joe McAvoy


Joe McAvoy's feet – Version 2Joe 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.