John Keeble
The Shadows of Owls 


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

William Kittredge, author of A 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.




John Keeble was born in Winnipeg, Canada, raised in Saskatchewan and California, and holds citizenship in both Canada and the U.S.A.  For over forty years he has lived with his family in rural Eastern Washington where he and his wife, Claire, a musician, now operate a small farm.  They have three grown sons and three grandchildren.  

His most recent novel, The Shadows of Owls, was issued by the University of Washington Press in 2013.  Previously, the University of Washington Press reissued two other novels, Yellowfish and Broken Groundwith "Afterwords" by the author and "Introductions" by, respectively, Bill Kittredge and Kathleen Dean Moore.  These two books were originally published by Harper and Row in 1980 and 1987.  

In 2010 his essay "Trejo's Perfect Havoc," appeared alongside Tomás Ybarra-Frausto's essay in a University of Washington Press/Jacob Lawrence Series on American Artists publication, Ruben Trejo: Beyond Boundaries / Aztlán y Más Allá.  

A collection of short stories, Nocturnal America, the award winner in the Prairie Schooner Prize Series in Fiction, was published by the University of Nebraska Press in 2006, and released in paperback and e-book, also in 2013.  He is currently completing another novel, The Appointment, a Civil War-era historical fiction set in California and the New Mexico Territory.  

A work of nonfiction, Out of the Channel: The Exxon Valdez Oil Spill In Prince William Sound, was published in l991 by HarperCollins, and reissued in a revised and expanded Tenth Anniversary Edition in 1999 by the Eastern Washington University Press.  Two other novels, Crab Canon and Mine (co-authored with Ransom Jeffery) were published in the 1970's.  

Keeble's short stories, interviews, and essays on political and ecological topics have appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies, most recently in Idaho Review and Harper's Magazine. He has received a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship and a Washington State Governor's Award. In 1993, he received a Northwest Regional Emmy Award nomination for To Write and Keep Kind, a film on the life of Raymond Carver which aired on the Public Broadcasting System.  

Educated at the University of Redlands, University of Iowa, and Brown University, he has taught at Grinnell College and Eastern Washington University where he founded the Master of Fine Arts Program and is now Professor Emeritus.  He has been a Distinguished Visiting Writer at Boise State University, and on three occasions held the Coal Royalty Trust Chair in Creative Writing at the University of Alabama.  He also served at Alabama as a Visiting Professor for an additional year.