Imatge de l'autor

Edward Hoagland

Autor/a de The Best American Essays 1999

37+ obres 1,259 Membres 14 Ressenyes 2 preferits

Sobre l'autor

Edward Hoagland has written more than twenty books, including the travel memoirs African Calliope and Notes from the Century Before, the essay collections Walking the Dead Diamond River, The Tugman's Passage, and Sex and River Styx, and the novels Cat Man and Seven Rivers West. He has received mostra'n més numerous prestigious literary awards and taught at many American colleges and universities. He is a native New Yorker, who now divides his time between Martha's Vineyard and his farmhouse in the mountains of northern, Vermont. mostra'n menys
Crèdit de la imatge:

Obres de Edward Hoagland

The Best American Essays 1999 (1999) — Editor — 185 exemplars
Heart's desire (1988) 80 exemplars
Sex and the River Styx (2011) 68 exemplars
Red Wolves and Black Bears (1976) 61 exemplars
Seven Rivers West (1986) 59 exemplars
Walking the Dead Diamond River (1973) 56 exemplars
The Courage of Turtles (1970) 56 exemplars
Balancing Acts (1609) 53 exemplars
The Tugman's Passage (1600) 50 exemplars
Compass Points : How I Lived (2001) 49 exemplars

Obres associades

The Art of the Personal Essay (1994) — Col·laborador — 1,373 exemplars
The Best American Essays of the Century (2000) — Col·laborador — 775 exemplars
Travels in Alaska (1915) — Introducció, algunes edicions644 exemplars
Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression (2001) — Col·laborador — 491 exemplars
The Best American Essays 2005 (2005) — Col·laborador — 342 exemplars
The Best American Essays 2003 (2003) — Col·laborador — 313 exemplars
N by E (1930) — Pròleg, algunes edicions245 exemplars
The Best American Essays 2001 (2001) — Col·laborador — 236 exemplars
Bad Trips (1991) — Col·laborador — 233 exemplars
The Best American Essays 2000 (2000) — Col·laborador — 212 exemplars
Granta 57: India! The Golden Jubilee (1997) — Col·laborador — 202 exemplars
The Best American Science Writing 2005 (2005) — Col·laborador — 191 exemplars
The Best American Essays 1998 (1998) — Col·laborador — 191 exemplars
The Best American Travel Writing 2002 (2002) — Col·laborador — 190 exemplars
The Best American Essays 1995 (1995) — Col·laborador — 159 exemplars
The Best American Travel Writing 2007 (2007) — Col·laborador — 159 exemplars
Granta 62: What Young Men Do (1998) — Col·laborador — 140 exemplars
The Best American Essays 1996 (1996) — Col·laborador — 132 exemplars
The Best American Essays 1989 (1989) — Col·laborador — 100 exemplars
Our World's Heritage (1987) 94 exemplars
About Us: Essays from the New York Times' Disability Series (2019) — Col·laborador — 68 exemplars
The shameless diary of an explorer : a story of failure on Mt. McKinley (1907) — Introducció, algunes edicions55 exemplars
Step Right Up: Stories of Carnivals, Sideshows, and the Circus (2004) — Col·laborador — 51 exemplars
The Best Spiritual Writing 2011 (2010) — Col·laborador — 37 exemplars
Antaeus No. 61, Autumn 1988 - Journals, Notebooks & Diaries (1988) — Col·laborador — 34 exemplars
Nature's Diary (Nature Library, Penguin) (1987) — Pròleg, algunes edicions24 exemplars
Wonders: Writings and Drawings for the Child in Us All (1980) — Col·laborador — 18 exemplars


Coneixement comú



Muscled through reading this would describe my reaction. Lots of people wax lyrical about Hoagland's writing, but it was flat for me. He interviewed many people who had lived through the late 1800s and early 1900s in British Colombia and Alaska, and their stories should have been exciting, or at least interesting, but rather than let them speak in their own words, he interpreted for them and it is rather dull. He does have some good descriptions of the people and places, but manages to suck the life and spirit out of the adventure.

The author himself (this was written in the 1960s) has the attitude when speaking of women that they are OK for decoration, work & sex, but not much otherwise. I love that one of the old-timers he was interviewing told him that the major fault of his book was that he didn't interview any of the women!

I read this because I am interested about the area and the way of life of those who lived there, the natives and their interactions with the whites who came and what became of them. I think he was as fair-handed as one from his background could be at the time, without glossing over the condition.

Am I happy to have read this? Eh.
Would I read anything else by this author? Not voluntarily
Would I recommend it. Not unless you are obsessed with this type of story or this place.
… (més)
1 vota
MrsLee | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Aug 23, 2021 |
In the Country of the Blind by Edward Hoagland is a so-so novel set in the 1960's.

At 47, Press is losing his sight. Due to his loss of sight, he has already lost his job as a stockbroker and his wife, who doesn't want to care for him. He moves to a cabin in Vermont, near a couple helpful neighbors, a hippy commune, and, apparently, drug runners, while he, rather aimlessly, tries to figure out how to live the rest of his life. Carol, an artist and hippy who lives nearby takes an interest in Press and shows up unannounced and visits, takes him to the commune, entertains him, cooks and eats with him, teases him, and provides sex. Melba, a local woman comes to clean his cabin and provides conversation. And random stuff happens.

At age 83, Hoagland, himself, is going blind, which provides some buzz about his novel. It does allow him to describe the loss of sight and the challenges facing Press, but that doesn't seem to be enough to carry the whole novel. Press comes across as a foolish man who is purposefully choosing to be oblivious to certain facts and is making odd, rather self-destructive choices. Additionally, all the characters seem to speak in the same, hesitant voice which results in the conversations all feeling awkward, which were already awkward due to the content.

Even with some parts that were beautifully descriptive, this novel just never hit the right note for me. I finished it feeling dejected and desiring a better novel, or at least one with a plot and more focus.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher/author.
… (més)
SheTreadsSoftly | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Nov 11, 2016 |
In the Country of the Blind tells the story of Press, a man who has lost a lot. He lost his sight to a degenerative disease, and his losses accumulated, his job, then his wife and children as she tossed him out, fearful of care taking. Fortunately, his Vermont neighbors are friendly and oriented toward care taking. He has two sets of neighbors whom he visits, who feed him, take him to church, and welcome him into their hearts.

Even better, on a walk in the woods, he meets Carol. She lives at a nearby commune with her children. The kids enjoy his company and he feels a bittersweet fondness; his pleasure in their company reminding him of his children whom he misses. A visit home helps him realize that his kids love him and that he can’t lose them that easily.

I enjoyed the conversations among the characters. They have that unfinished and random quality of real life, conversations that happen without advancing a plot point. I loved the characters, their authenticity and complexity. Press was the main character and his infatuated relationship with Carol made her the second most important character. Frankly, they were less interesting than Melba, and several of the other minor characters. With Press and Carol, it was hard to tell who they really felt about each other and how much of their relationship was convenience. Press seemed the kind of guy who wanted a relationship with someone, anyone, without regard to which woman.

I am ambivalent about In the Country of the Blind. The idea that a 47 year old man who loses his sight thinks that is it, considers assisted living seems strange in today’s world. Blind people are not incapacitated. How is that someone as well off as Press has not had therapists teach him how to cope. He’s knocking food all over himself, for pity’s sake. I have known several blind people and that is so not typical. From that fundamental flaw, everything feels wrong.

The writing is beautiful, engaging and flows with this headlong pace that carries the reader forward without a break. It’s compulsive, but in the end, it is difficult to understand why Hoagland spent so much good writing on such a little story. There’s not much meat here, just interesting people having conversations and puttering around. Is there a resolution, does Press change over the course of the story? I wanted something more.

In the Country of the Blind will be released November 1st. I was given an e-galley by the publisher through NetGalley.

… (més)
Tonstant.Weader | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Oct 12, 2016 |
“Disasters can swallow you up in Africa, and yet, the disasters too, get swallowed up, which may be why we rolling stones roll there.” Hickey, the narrator, sums up much of his motivation and behavior in the novel with this revealing statement. Hoagland depicts Africa as a beautiful, but dangerous and corrupt place. Hickey is a complicated, but likeable character filled with contradictions. He smuggles diamonds and gold, but tries to save children from disease, war and starvation. “The joke, if you can call it that, among us expatriates is that if you feel a hand grope for your wallet, the second thing to do is to try and save the life of the pickpocket.” He is a womanizer. “Her color is different from mine but that distinction has vanished. I carry condoms of course, but with an African woman, just thinking of the odds can distract and unman you, even if you theoretically have protection.” But risks everything to save Ruth Parker, a committed medical missionary, working for an NGO called Protestants Against Famine, who is trapped when the civil war breaks out in Sudan. Hickey stays at a place he calls the Arabs in Nairobi, just across the street from the Stanley Hotel. He bribes people at the Stanley to let him use their rooftop pool and café. He also has a strongbox there. He works at any job–some quite risky– to make money, like transporting supplies, guiding tourists, etc. He carries a lot of money on him in money belts.
The Africans are depicted in a balanced way. Some are corrupt, many are disease-ridden (especially with AIDS) and most are poor and uneducated. Hickey is empathic, and tries to help when he can, but often is faced with the reality of how big the problems are. He meets Ruth while delivering supplies to her hospital and quickly sees in her a level of commitment to the people that he relates to and may aspire to emulate. “Joy is what is partly needed, especially at first, and joy, I think, is like photosynthesis for plants, an evidence of God.”
Hoagland writes with long complex sentences dripping with sarcasm. Often there are abrupt shifts from things that are actually happening to memories and backstory. This can be quite confusing, and often required me to reread passages.
The CIA is a mysterious dark presence in the novel but Hoagland does not explore this to any great extent, except to lampoon a couple of supposed agents–Herbert and Craig–a couple of guys who reminded me of the intelligence officer in the TV version of MASH. The Russians, Arabs and Israelis also don’t escape unscathed.
The chaos starts slowly, but builds to a climax at the end of the novel that is riveting. While he is away, Hickey finds out that Ruth has been raped and left abandoned and naked to get back to her compound. He rationalizes that “Wartime rape is motivated by unexpended adrenaline and sadism, not because there are any ‘dolls’ around.” A friend, Ed, who is a pilot, dies in a crash while trying to transport one of Ruth’s workers. Father Leo, an Irish priest brings a little boy to the compound and Ruth develops an affection for him. A young man, Bol arrives at the compound, seeking escape to the West. He is multilingual and acts as a teacher for group of refugee children. Otim, a 10 year old soldier, who has escaped the army also arrives at the compound. The whole thing seems chaotic enough, but gets much worse when the civil war breaks out. Attlee, Ruth’s long-time assistant and friend is killed by rebels who attempt to search for someone during the night.
Hickey takes a number of children to Nairobi with him, especially 2 girls with eye problems, and Otim, but not before developing an intimate relationship with Ruth.
The latter half of the novel deals with Hickey’s return to rescue Ruth, but incidentally also many children. This is so harrowing that I can’t describe it without spoiling it.
This excellent novel is part noir and part thriller, depicting the complexities of Africa as it existed then, especially how the innocents were brutalized by the conflicts that involved tribal difference and manipulation by world powers. The evil was overwhelming.
… (més)
ozzer | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Aug 4, 2013 |


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