Keith Rosson, Smoke City
We welcome Portland artist and writer Keith Rosson to the store for the launch of his new novel, Smoke City, on Tuesday, February 6th, at 7 pm. In his new novel, Rosson weaves together the stories of three flawed but memorable characters who find themselves traveling to Los Angeles together: Casper, a young man desperate to get to the city to make a show about the “smokes,” ghostly apparitions that have been appearing throughout Southern California and New Mexico; Mike Vale, an alcoholic non-productive artist traveling from Portland to his ex-wife’s funeral; and Marvin Deitz, the one-eyed record-store owner who insists he is the reincarnation of the French executioner who lit Joan of Arc’s pyre in 1431. A chance viewing of a Los Angeles chat show featuring a woman claiming to be the reincarnation of Joan has filled him with hope that he will finally have an opportunity to make reparation and rid himself of the guilt he has lived with for more than six hundred years.
This surreal road trip of quirky characters follows Rosson’s first novel, The Mercy of the Tide, also published by Meerkat Press and set on the Oregon Coast. In addition, Rosson’s work is featured in the anthology Behind the Mask, a prose nod to the comic world. Rosson is also an illustrator and graphic designer, with clients that include Green Day, the Goo Goo Dolls, and others. He wants it known that he is a strong advocate of public libraries.