Best Brother/Sister Writers 2014 | Benjamin and Jennifer Percy | Arts & Culture | Bend

Best Of Central Oregon

Best Brother/Sister Writers

Benjamin and Jennifer Percy

Growing up in Central Oregon offers plenty of material for creative writers. Just ask Benjamin Percy and his little sister Jennifer, both of whom have made names for themselves among American Literati. Ben, who describes himself as a "side-burned, growly voiced author," has set much of his fiction in and around Bend — including his most recent horror novel (and part one of a werewolf trilogy) "Red Moon." "It's an amazing place," says Ben, of the home his family built in Tumalo. "My childhood gave rise to lots of stories. When my mind opens up, that's the place it goes. I'm eager to put my grateful stamp on it." "Red Moon", which Percy is currently adapting for a Fox TV series, offers a delightful, if grisly, view of the rugged landscapes we all know and appreciate. However, it's his earlier short fiction that truly puts Central Oregon in the literary spotlight. In his award-winning collection, "The Language of Elk," Percy describes the dry side of the Cascades, "Where the wind blows in heated gusts, like the breath of a big animal." It's a familiar feeling for Bend residents this summer.

His younger sister Jennifer, who followed him through the prestigious Iowa Writer's Workshop graduate program and into a career writing nonfiction, recently published "Demon Camp," an examination of the dark path out of post-traumatic stress that many soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan have experienced. On the surface, her work is wildly different from her older brother's—speculative fiction vs. long form reportage—but both push the boundaries of society, and ask us to take a hard look at the world as we know it, and the fears we face. (CH)