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Seattle, with its spectacular natural beauty and rough frontier history, has inspired writers from its earliest days. This anthology spans seven decades and includes fiction, memoirs, histories, and journalism that define the city or use it as a setting, imparting the flavor of the city through a literary prism.

Reading Seattle features classics by Horace R. Cayton, Richard Hugo, Betty MacDonald, Mary McCarthy, Murray Morgan, and John Okada as well as more recent works by Sherman Alexie, Lynda Barry, David Guterson, J. A. Jance, Jonathan Raban, and others. It includes cutting-edge work by emerging talents and reintroduces works by important Seattle writers who may have been overlooked in recent years.

The writers featured in this volume explore a variety of neighborhoods and districts within the city, delineating urban spaces and painting memorable portraits of characters both historical and fictional.

Praise for Reading Seattle" The City in Prose


“NO PROSE ANTHOLOGY, in my view, could be more helpful—to immigrants or lifelong residents—in delivering Seattle’s relatively recent but startlingly rich history and diverse literary voices than the volume you presently hold in your hands. For those unable to live in or visit this ever-surprising city, Reading Seattle may just be the next best thing.” — Charles Johnson from the Foreword to Reading Seattle


“NO MATTER WHAT YOUR TASTES ARE, the anthology provides a fascinating sense of listening in on the mind of the city, humming away over the decades and coming up with myriad harmonies and discords distinctively its own.” — The Seattle Times


“THE IDEA IS SUCH A NATURAL that the surprise is that no one has done it before. But thanks to editors Peter Donahue and John Trombold, Seattle now has a literary anthology to call its own. Reading Seattle: The City in Prose is a fascinating compilation of this city as viewed through writers' eyes.” — The Seattle Post-Intelligencier


READING SEATTLE . . . is a book about grey skies and rain-slicked city streets, a collection that recalls Seattle’s rough, pioneer beginnings and then dispels them with selections about the city’s now more urban, even trend-setting characteristics.” — Pacific Northwest Quarterly


READING SEATTLE brings together voices young and old, native and immigrant, black, white, Asian, and Native American, aged and contemporary—each with its own take on the city . . . The anthology never fails to provide us with a kaleidoscopic view of Seattle’s infinite permutations, and it shouldn’t be missed by those interested in the city’s past, present, and future.”— The Raven Chronicles


"READING SEATTLE represents a solid and timely anthology.” — Western Literature Review


“A DELICIOUSLY DIVERSE group of writers and pioneering intellects . . . contribute their words to this insightful and entertaining collection” — Whatcom Watch


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