Booked at the Fair

Oregon authors offer their work at the Lane County Fair

Many of the 27 Oregon authors appearing at the Lane County Fair July 19 to 23 will be bringing books that have been published within the last few months. The county fair is perhaps best known for quilts, rabbits and fried food, but for 20 years it has also been a venue for local authors to discuss and autograph their recent work.

Two of the most innovative debut novels deal with teenage summer jobs. Paul Neville worked for nearly four decades as an award-winning editor and reporter at The Register-Guard. In retirement he’s written The Garbage Brothers, a hilarious novel that’s loosely based on the summer he worked for a garbage collection company in Chicago. Neville will be at the fair 5 to 7 pm Friday, July 21.

Terry Evers is now an elementary educator in Keizer with two grown daughters. But when Evers was 13, his father quit a job as a textbook salesman, bought a salmon-fishing dory, and took him out for a summer’s work. Fifteen Seasons: A Memoir tells the ups and downs of learning to be a commercial fisherman alongside his dad. Evers will be at the fair 3 to 7 pm Wednesday, July 19.

Dorcas Smucker, a common-sense mom from a Harrisburg farm, was for years one of the most popular columnists at The Register-Guard. From 2006 to 2020 she published six book-length collections of her newspaper essays. And now she has released what she claims will be her final collection, Coming Home to Roost: A Mennonite Mom Reflects on Life Choices, Adult Children, and Country Living. Smucker will be at the county fair 1 to 7 pm Thursday and 11 am to 3 pm Saturday.

Murder and Mayhem is the title of Jennifer Chambers’ latest nonfiction book. Chambers is best known for her biographies of pioneer women, Remarkable Oregon Women: Revolutionaries & Visionaries. Her new book is sensational in a different way, describing a dozen of the Willamette Valley’s most blood-curdling murder cases. Chambers will be at the fair all day Wednesday and Friday.

The Oregon Authors Table is in the fair’s Performance Hall beside the doors to the glass-roofed atrium. Because the table has room for only about six authors at a time, check the schedule at if you want to meet a specific author.

The Lane County Fair runs Wednesday, July 19, through Sunday, July 23, at the Lane Events Center, 13th and Jefferson. Admission is $9 for adults, $7 seniors and youth, free 5 and under, with numerous discounts available. Parking is $5, cash only. Hours are 11 am to 11 pm Wednesday through Saturday and 11 am to 8 pm Sunday; no admission within an hour of closing.

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