“Reading Pickering… is like taking a walk with your oldest, wittiest friend.”
In this, his tenth book of essays, renowned raconteur Sam Pickering wanders from Nova Scotia to Tennessee, from a middle school athletic field to an English department. He tells stories about people named Googoo and Loppie. He examines trees and flowers. He watches a daughter play soccer and a son row. He attends funerals and remembers the past and imagines the future. His is the ordinary world observed closely.
But reading Pickering makes life blossom. Suddenly the small and the neglected bloom and charm. He is opinionated, too. “Foolishness in low places,” as a reviewer put it, is also his subject. Critics have compared him to Twain and Montaigne and have said his sentences flow like silk, caught in a breeze of verbs and nouns.
Deprived of Unhappiness is a book that describes living—living within a family and with Everyman’s hopes and fears. As the narrator roams hill and field, he tries to make sense of life. Even better, he enjoys life, its big rooms and its small, dusty corners. Pickering breathes life into the weary letters of carpe diem.
Sam Pickering, best known as the model for the teacher in the film Dead Poets Society, is professor of English at the University of Connecticut and the author of numerous books of scholarship and creative nonfiction. More info →
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The story of “Shakespeare’s sister” that Virginia Woolf tells in A Room of One’s Own has sparked interest in the question of the place of the woman writer in the Renaissance. By now, the process of recovering lost voices of early modern women is well under way. But Woolf’s engagement with the Renaissance went deeper than that question indicates, as important as it was.
There is no easy way to identify grasses. And no one understands this better than H.D. Harrington, who observed thousands of students struggle and learn. His clear, concise, and well-organized guide will continue to be a basic and essential text for use in the classroom or in the field. The book contains over 500 drawings and an illustrated glossary.
The Old West has been viewed from many perspectives, from the scornful to the uncritically romantic. But seldom has it been treated with the honest nostalgia of the wonderful accounts and pictures gathered in Denver in Slices. Ohio University Press/Swallow Press is proud to reissue this Western classic, which includes a brief survey of all Denver history, some slices depicting the most fascinating places and characters.