The more than two dozen personal essays in this new collection by one of Texas's master storytellers range from travel pieces about Havana and London to stories about small-town exotics that are funny, nervy, outlandish, and all characterized by James Hoggard's sly wit and his noted openness to people he meets along the way. Fast-paced, yet at the same time reflective, Hoggard guides his readers into some of the wonderfully strange turns of the world, including a Saturday morning gathering of khaki-dressed men who have hunkered down at a Dairy Queen to get away from their women who want them to spend the day doing chores. At the same time they see Hoggard as a bicycle-riding exotic who finds it normal to go out and bike 60-odd miles before lunch. Now and then the encounters are hair-raising, sometimes scary, but Hoggard always provides the kind of interior monologues that draw upon both deep reading and deep observation.
James Hoggard is an author, a translator, and a poet whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including Arts & Letters, Harvard Review, and Words Without Borders. He is the recipient of the Lon Tinkle Award and the former president of the Texas Institute of Letters. He is the Perkins-Prothro Distinguished Professor of English at Midwestern State University and the author of numerous books, including The Mayor's Daughter, Triangles of Light: The Edward Hopper Poems, and Wearing the River. He lives in Wichita Falls, Texas.