Corvallis novelist to discuss ‘Homeland Elegies’ in Random Review |


Corvallis’ Keith Scribner will review Ayad Akhtar’s “Homeland Elegies: A Novel” at noon on Wednesday, May 11, as part of the Friends of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library’s Random Review series.

The program will take place via GoToWebinar. It’s free, but registration is required at

“Homeland Elegies” is a postmodern novel about an American son and his immigrant father. It draws on and has been compared favorably to classics such as the works of Tolstoy and Salman Rushdie, Alan Ginsberg’s “Howl” and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby”.

Pulitzer Prize-winning American playwright, author and actor Akhtar’s book has been described as a hybrid of novel and memoir. Its narrator shares the author’s name and much of his biography. The narrator’s Pakistani father was once businessman Donald Trump’s personal doctor and remains in love with Trump even after the then-president issued his infamous travel ban on Muslims. The novel also deals in detail with the narrator’s experiences of discrimination after September 11, 2001.

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Scribner is a novelist and non-fiction writer, and a resident of Corvallis since 2000. His novel “The Good Life” was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. His fiction and non-fiction have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Daily Beast, TriQuarterly, American Short Fiction, Quarterly West, The North Atlantic Review, San Jose Mercury News, Baltimore Sun, and various anthologies.

Scribner is married to poet Jennifer Richter and teaches in Oregon State University’s Master of Fine Arts program and the new Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing program. He enjoys mountain biking and plans to cycle from Oregon to Patagonia on a sabbatical next year, writing a travel book and making travel videos along the way.

He hopes to be able to travel to Ukraine in the spring of 2023, when he is expected to be invited to Odessa National University.

The June 8 random exam will feature Michael Nelson, professor of environmental ethics and philosophy at OSU College of Forestry, who will examine “Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Insights, and Plant Teachings” from Robin Wall Kimmerer.


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