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Small Press, Big Revival 

by Kelly Milner Halls


Vision Quest by Terry Davis sold hundreds of thousands of copies after its original 1979 release -- copies many readers have cherished for decades. It became a cult classic after Warner Brothers released the film adaptation starring Matthew Modine (with a cameo by Madonna) in 1985 -- and the paperback that went with it.


This month, Vision Quest fans will be invited to archive their dog-eared, out-of-print originals. A bright, new edition -- featuring a fresh foreword by Spokane writer Chris Crutcher -- can finally take its place, thanks to Eastern Washington University Press.


"Terry Davis was impressed by the quality of our line," says EWU Press Associate Director Scott Poole. "After considering the books [all three of Davis's novels will eventually be reissued] and Terry's commitment to them, we decided to offer a contract."


Considering Vision Quest was nominated for numerous awards, including an American Book Award (now known as the National Book Award) in 1980, there were ample reasons for EWU Press to take Davis seriously. But according to Poole, the author's local origins had the greatest impact.


"We thought it would be appropriate if the book found a home in Spokane," Poole says, "the place where it had originally been written. It was a good match with one of the Press's missions -- to highlight writers from the Inland Northwest."


The new Vision Quest editions will be available at select local bookstores in mid-March, according to Poole, though a limited number will be for sale at Davis's Auntie's signing tomorrow at 7:30 pm. It will be nationally distributed and available by summer.

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