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A Novel

List Price: $16.95

March 13, 2018 | Paperback | 5.75 x 8.75, 352 pages | ISBN 9781619029989
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“A remarkable story.” —The New York Times Book Review

Set in the mid-1990s, when environmentalists and timber communities warred over the future of the last Northwestern old-growth forests, Giftedis the story of a young man with a metaphysical imagination—naïve yet wise, gifted yet ordinary—who comes of age under harsh circumstances, negotiating the wildness of his home country, of his human relationships, and of the emerging complexities of his own being.

JOHN DANIEL’s books of prose, including Rogue River Journal and The Far Corner, have won three Oregon Book Awards for Literary Nonfiction, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and have been supported by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts among other grants and awards. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow and Jones Lecturer at Stanford University, he has taught as a writer-in-residence at colleges and universities across the country. Daniel lives with his wife, Marilyn Daniel, in the Coast Range foothills west of Eugene, Oregon. Gifted is his first novel.


1 of 21 Books We Loved in 2017 (The Oregonian)

“[A] remarkable story.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Emotionally raw and evocative, Gifted is a rare book that manages to intertwine family drama, internal turmoil and landscapes of the world around it all. Set in Oregon’s Coast Range, the book is the first novel by Eugene poet and essayist John Daniel, whose lush writing has a way of haunting you long after the last page.” —The Oregonian, 1 of 21 Books We Loved in 2017

“Daniel captures Henry’s feeling of isolation and loneliness with eloquent prose that draws readers into the mossy old-growth forests of the Northwest. His clean descriptions and comforting digressions about the landscape mirror Henry’s own attempts to find solace in an unjust, confusing world. Daniel’s impressive novel quietly builds, ending in a place where Henry can see the way past his experiences into a much more beautiful, logical future.” —Publishers Weekly

“Lyrical evocations of nature clash with shocking revelations of human nature in this coming-of-age story . . .  [a] stroll through the wilderness of adolescence and the Oregon woods.”Kirkus Reviews

“With Gifted, John Daniel has given us a lyrical, soaring tale that is deeply affecting. It’s full of love and pain and understanding and forgiveness . . . as is life, if we’re as lucky as our hero-guide, Henry Fielder.  Daniel has written a transformative novel I will never forget.”  —Garth Stein, author of The Art of Racing in the Rain and A Sudden Light

“Part Catcher in the Rye, part Sometimes a Great Notion, John Daniel’s novel vividly evokes the emotional tempest of youth, the cultures and subcultures of the Pacific Northwest, and the rainwashed, animal-rich forests of Oregon’s Coast Range.”—Scott Slovic, University of Idaho, editor of ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment

“When Huck Finn lit out for the Territory, no doubt he found a mysterious, magical world much like that in John Daniel’s modern coming-of-age tale. The glories, the violence, the stirring spirit that fashioned our nation continue, and are vividly chronicled in this bold and generous novel. Daniel has reseen and regifted us all with our deepest, most cherished American stories, expressed here with poetic precision, amplitude, grace.” —Tracy Daugherty, author of What Falls Away and The Boy Orator

“The gifts that relieve the guilt and losses suffered by John Daniel’s teenage hero come from the living matrix we call nature—rivers and mountains, lion and coyote and bear, stars and storms and throngs of birds—and from human guides—foster parents, a wise elder, a backwoods sage, two lovers, and a sympathetic judge. All of these redemptive figures, human and greater-than-human, are vividly rendered by a writer whose feeling for language and landscape shines from every page.” —Scott Russell Sanders, author of Earth Works and Dancing in Dreamtime

Gifted tells of growing up in the semi-outback and sometimes dangerous Coast Range of Oregon. It grows and rings as it matures. John Daniel has been one of our finest for a long while. He is to be congratulated again.” —William Kittredge, author of A Hole in the Sky and The Willow Field

“I take John Daniel’s Gifted as personally as my own Willamette Valley boyhood. Henry Fielder brought back 1,247 things I’ve lived. The joys and sorrows of full sensory immersion in an astoundingly beautiful, grievously wounded place. Being fed by both the beauty and the woundings. Coming of age, or trying to, in an industrial anti-culture that sees the adoration of trilliums, ancient trees, wild places, and early mystical experience as alienation.” When Henry finally set down his pen I experienced a small miracle: the teen in me bowing, feeling completely understood and vindicated, half a century after the fact.” —David James Duncan, author of The River Why and The Brothers K

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