John Keeble


"The Shadows of Owls is a continually vivid and exactingly researched story about the petro-chemical disasters that are haunting our writhing world.  Spectacular, compelling, and brilliantly articulated.  The strongest eco-novel in memory.  A masterwork."  

William Kittredge, author of Hole in the Sky 

 
   
 

The Shadows of Owls

A literary thriller about science, corporate power, and the personal horrors visited on the lives of ordinary people.

 

 
   
   
 

Broken Ground


"In John Keeble's extraordinary novel, Broken Ground, a social fable for our time, every element has its double in the illuminating realm of metaphor. . . . No other serious American novel has confronted so directly and so eerily the slithery power of corporate power over humble lives as well as over our changing, dehumanized landscape."   
Lynn Sharon Schwartz, Hungry Mind Review, and author of Disturbances in the Field and Leaving Brooklyn.

"In John Keeble's extraordinary novel, Broken Ground, a social fable for our time, every element has its double in the illuminating realm of metaphor. . . . No other serious American novel has confronted so directly and so eerily the slithery power of corporate power over humble lives as well as over our changing, dehumanized landscape."   

Lynn Sharon Schwartz, Hungry Mind Review, and author of Disturbances in the Field and Leaving Brooklyn.


A construction project in the desert of eastern Oregon forms the basis for a story with deep political, mystical, and--for its time--prescient implications: the impingement of American imperialism on its own native territory. Set in the 1980s, the project underway is to be a "prison for profit" where alien captives are incarcerated in secret. Broken Ground is about the seen world of excavated earth, steel, and concrete, and the unseen world of ghosts and spirits, bound together by an undertaking that expresses the root of both a clandestine and overt political evil that extends well into our present time. 


 

"The re-issue of Broken Ground comes at a challenging time for fiction, and indeed for all art forms. What is the work of a writer in a world gone so dangerously wrong? Maybe writers' loyalty is to their work, and the great and sole obligation of writers is to write as well as they know how. But is there an obligation also to the time, to ask the questions that may have no answers, to challenge wrong-headed or destructive authority, to cry out from the margins in defense of what is beautiful and true? Broken Ground is evidence that a writer can do both, and, indeed, it is testimony to John Keeble's conviction that a writer must write powerfully even as he engaged the quandaries of our time."

Kathleen Dean Moore, from the "Forward."

 

A deftly evoked, beautifully perceived novel about trouble and doubt, about the persistent trickiness of life. Mr. Keeble's major themes--freedom, culpability, death--reverberate against a remarkable background, the construction of a federal prison in the Oregon desert. It is a fresh, wise, consistently engaging work.

Barry Lopez, National Book Award winner and author of Arctic Dreams.

Broken Ground, originally issued in 1987, is to be reissued in September 2010 by the University of Washington Press with a Forward by Kathleen Dean Moore and an Afterword by the author.
The novel employs a construction project in the high desert of eastern Oregon as the basis for a story with deep political, mystical, and--for its time--prescient implications: the impingement of American imperialism on its own native territory. Set in the 1980s, the project underway is to be a "prison for profit" where alien captives are incarcerated in secret. Broken Ground is about the seen world of excavated earth, steel, and concrete, and the unseen world of ghosts and spirits, bound together by an undertaking that expresses the root of both a clandestine and overt political evil that extends well into our present time.
"The re-issue of Broken Ground comes at a challenging time for fiction, and indeed for all art forms. What is the work of a writer in a world gone so dangerously wrong? Maybe writers' loyalty is to their work, and the great and sole obligation of writers is to write as well as they know how. But is there an obligation also to the time, to ask the questions that may have no answers, to challenge wrong-headed or destructive authority, to cry out from the margins in defense of what is beautiful and true? Broken Ground is evidence that a writer can do both, and, indeed, it is testimony to John Keeble's conviction that a writer must write powerfully even as he engaged the quandaries of our time."
- Kathleen Dean Moore, from the Forward
Broken Ground is mysterious, elegant, and a little incredible, a dark and serious speculation on the impossibility of our every story telling our way into a so-called safe house.
- William Kittredge
A deftly evoked, beautifully perceived novel about trouble and doubt, about the persistent trickiness of life. Mr. Keeble's major themes--freedom, culpability, death--reverberate against a remarkable background, the construction of a federal prison in the Oregon desert. It is a fresh, wise, consistently engaging work.
- Barry Lopez
In John Keeble's extraordinary novel, Broken Ground, a social fable for our time, every element has its double in the illuminating realm of metaphor. . . . No other serious American novel has confronted so directly and so eerily the slithery power of corporate dominance over humble lives as well as over our changing, dehumanized landscape.
- Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Hungry Mind RevieBroken Ground, originally issued in 1987, is to be reissued in September 2010 by the University of Washington Press with a Forward by Kathleen Dean Moore and an Afterword by the author.
The novel employs a construction project in the high desert of eastern Oregon as the basis for a story with deep political, mystical, and--for its time--prescient implications: the impingement of American imperialism on its own native territory. Set in the 1980s, the project underway is to be a "prison for profit" where alien captives are incarcerated in secret. Broken Ground is about the seen world of excavated earth, steel, and concrete, and the unseen world of ghosts and spirits, bound together by an undertaking that expresses the root of both a clandestine and overt political evil that extends well into our present time.
"The re-issue of Broken Ground comes at a challenging time for fiction, and indeed for all art forms. What is the work of a writer in a world gone so dangerously wrong? Maybe writers' loyalty is to their work, and the great and sole obligation of writers is to write as well as they know how. But is there an obligation also to the time, to ask the questions that may have no answers, to challenge wrong-headed or destructive authority, to cry out from the margins in defense of what is beautiful and true? Broken Ground is evidence that a writer can do both, and, indeed, it is testimony to John Keeble's conviction that a writer must write powerfully even as he engaged the quandaries of our time."
- Kathleen Dean Moore, from the Forward
Broken Ground is mysterious, elegant, and a little incredible, a dark and serious speculation on the impossibility of our every story telling our way into a so-called safe house.
- William Kittredge
A deftly evoked, beautifully perceived novel about trouble and doubt, about the persistent trickiness of life. Mr. Keeble's major themes--freedom, culpability, death--reverberate against a remarkable background, the construction of a federal prison in the Oregon desert. It is a fresh, wise, consistently engaging work.
- Barry Lopez
In John Keeble's extraordinary novel, Broken Ground, a social fable for our time, every element has its double in the illuminating realm of metaphor. . . . No other serious American novel has confronted so directly and so eerily the slithery power of corporate dominance over humble lives as well as over our changing, dehumanized landscape.
- Lynne Sharon Schwartz, Hungry Mind Review

News: Broken Ground

Reissued 

Broken Ground, originally issued in 1987, was reissued in 2010 by the University of Washington Press with a "Forward" by Kathleen Dean Moore and an "Afterword" by the author. Now, in paperback and soon to be issued as an e-book.