AHA News |  

“Brilliantly Written” Novel, The Outcast Oracle, Now Available From Humanist Press

14-Year-Old Girl Is Forced To Deal With Con Artist Grandfather; Put Forward As Miracle Worker 

For immediate release

Contact: Maggie Ardiente, mardiente@americanhumanist.org, 202-238-9088 x116

(Washington, DC – Oct. 1, 2013) – “Simply delicious fun from start to finish” is how Kirkus Reviews described the second novel by Laury A. Egan, The Outcast Oracle, in its starred review. Being released today by Humanist Press, The Outcast Oracle is about a teenage girl, but it’s a book for any adult who remembers the traumas of adolescence and the shock of discovering that religion is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Set in 1959 on the shores of New York’s Lake Ontario, 14-year-old Charlene Beth Whitestone has been deserted by her parents, leaving her in the custody of her grandfather, C.B. Although he loves Charlie, he is a charming con artist, moonshiner, and religious fraud who inducts her into his various enterprises yet also encourages her dreams of becoming a writer. When C.B. suddenly dies, Charlie is left alone and must use her wits and resourcefulness to take charge of her life, all the while wrestling with the morality of continuing her grandfather’s schemes. When a handsome cowboy-stranger, Blake, arrives, he insinuates himself into C.B.’s religion business and into Charlie’s heart. Despite her resistance, Blake mounts a lucrative PR campaign, touting Charlie as an “oracle” and arranging for her to perform miracles.

“It’s this highly literary, easily accessible writing that lifts this story to the very top of the heap,” the Kirkus review concluded. 

The Outcast Oracle is a page-turning tour de force, full of humor, irony, winks at societal conventions, and serious revelations about the ruses and abuses of organized religion,” said Karla Linn Merrifield, author of Lithic Scatter and Other Poems. Other early reviewers have called the book “…wonderfully evocative” with characters that “feel vivid and alive.”

Laury A. Egan is the author of Jenny Kidd, a psychological suspense novel, and Fog and Other Stories, which was short-listed for a UK Saboteur Award. In addition to writing fiction, two poetry collections, Snow, Shadows, a Stranger and Beneath the Lion’s Paw, were issued by FootHills Publishing as well as a chapbook, The Sea & Beyond. Her work has appeared in over 35 literary journals and anthologies and has been nominated for two Pushcart Prizes, Best of the Web, and Best of the Net.

The Outcast Oracle is now available as a paperback (ISBN: 978-0-931779-36-7) and as an ebook (ISBN: 978-0-931779-37-4) from HumanistPress.com. The ebook is also available from major online ebook retailers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Egan lives on the New Jersey coast. Her website is lauryaegan.com.


Humanist Press is the publishing house of the American Humanist Association, providing material for the humanist/freethought/atheist market since 1995. The American Humanist Association (americanhumanist.org) advocates for the rights and viewpoints of humanists and atheists in the United States. Founded in 1941 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., its work is extended through more than 175 local chapters and affiliates across America.

Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism, affirms our responsibility to lead ethical lives of value to self and humanity.