The Slacker's Hawthorne

HARLEY SOLTES

GUTERSON: He channels voices of his home state of Washington

"In the woods," wrote Emerson, "we return to reason and faith." In the woods around North Fork, Washington, however, the waiflike runaway and mushroom picker who stands, often silently, at the center of David Guterson's new novel finds a vision of the Virgin Mary. She also finds Satan, smart alecks and all the screaming spirits of premillennial America crying out to her for salvation. Within days of her first Marian sighting, 5,000 pilgrims are following the ecstasies of what they call Ann of Oregon, Greater Catholic Merchandise Outlet trucks are circling around and timber companies are sending out their p.r....

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