Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Northwest author will read from debut novel

Mike Stark, a former reporter for the Daily Astorian, and for KMUN, will read from his novel, “The Derelict Light,” on Wednesday, Oct. 18 at the Astoria Public Library, 450 10th St., at 6 p.m. Stark’s first novel, but third book, “The Derelict Light” recounts the story of the fire that consumed downtown Astoria in December 1922 through the eyes of a lovesick thief, a Finnish immigrant, klansmen, socialists and Oregon’s first female fire investigator.

The book was published by the University of Nebraska Press, which says of it: “Inspired by historical events, The Derelict Light explores a Pacific Northwest town in the grips of catastrophe, caught in a bitter struggle between progress, greed, and human frailty.” Tracy Daugherty, who wrote 148 Charles Street and Snow and Straw, says “The Derelict Light” belongs to the tradition of John Steinbeck’s “In Dubious Battle” and “The Grapes of Wrath,” and the American proletarian novels of the 1930s, in highlighting the intersections among work, migration, and politics.”

Stark’s appearance is sponsored by The Writer’s Guild of Astoria, a nonprofit that supports the region’s writers and poets. The event is free, and you can register at

The reading will be followed by an author reception and signing.


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