I’m learning that Sonoma County has a bounty of unique and creative people with unusual career paths and a mix of great talents.
One of those is Andrea Granahan, who has been living, writing and working in Sonoma’s west county for decades. She just wrote a truly wild and wonderful book of true stories about the West County Coastal characters from towns including Bodega, Bodega Bay, Occidental and Sebastopol. Andrea has been a journalist, college instructor, travel writer, author of three books, and homesteader in the woods.
This book, Backstories from the West Edge is filled with zany characters, bizarre happenings and stories that are often funny and poignant. I read the book on the plane going to east coast and home. My husband kept asking me what was going on, as I couldn’t keep from laughing aloud, then sharing some of the more incredible stories.
This is a great holiday read; and certainly an antidote to the seriousness and pain of the fire and its aftermath. It’s also a great book for visitors and folks from other areas to get a taste of our west county history. I plan on purchasing several for friends and family from all over to enjoy.
Andrea Granahan has served as a journalist on California’s north coast for four decades. She describes the rural area she worked in as “QuirkUtopia” because of the varied and interesting people (and animals) she has met there. She revisits the roots of some of the more controversial and exciting events she covered as a reporter. From going to war with the US Navy over submarines killing fishermen, to Mario Savio demanding she censor her journalism students, Granahan’s career saw a lot of action.
Some of her tales will make you laugh, others bring you to tears, or stir your sense of justice. This book reveals a unique corner of the world and shows small town journalism at work proving the pen is still mighty.
You can purchase Backstories from the West Edge, by Andrea Granahan at Copperfield’s in Sebastopol, Hand Goods in Occidental, The Sebastopol Center for the Arts Gift Shop, Barnesandnoble.com and Amazon.com. Granahan has won awards for her reporting and feature writing from the California Newspaper Publishers Assn. and the National Newspaper Publishers Assn. She is the only reporter to hold three Lincoln Steffens awards for investigative reporting. She was the founding publisher of the Bodega Bay Navigator, a weekly newspaper. Her work covering the fishing industry has been described as unparalleled. She is currently at work on another book and continues to be a travel journalist.
Disclosure: Andrea is in a book club with me. I am a founding member of the Sonoma County Wednesday Noon Book Club. We read all genres, and especially enjoy reading local authors whom we often invite to meet with us. One of those local writers is Andrea, by way of another one of her book’s It’s all Greek to Me. It’s about Andrea and her family’s experiences living for a full year in rural Greece. We all loved the stories and were so happy when she came to our meeting, armed with relics and even more stories, even poems. We had such a fantastic time with Andrea; her intelligence, humor and enthusiasm, that we invited her to join our club. She agreed. That was three years ago, and the rest is history!
Onward in enjoying some great backstories from the West County from Andrea Granahan.
And, if you know someone in our community with another interesting career story, kindly send me an email for consideration for this blog. Thank you.