Heart's Desire: The Best of Edward Hoagland: Essays from Twenty Years

Edward Hoagland, Author
Edward Hoagland, Author Summit Books $24.45 (0p) ISBN 978-0-671-64985-2
Reviewed on: 09/01/1988
Release date: 09/01/1988
Hoagland gathers 35 pieces from The Courage of Turtles et al. in this witty and thoughtful literary potpourri. With insight, candor and courage, he delves into such subjects as country and city life, loneliness, sexual fantasy and deathand all of these just in the book's first essay. In the remaining works, Hoagland reflects on jury duty, Johnny Appleseed, taxidermy, boxing, Thoreau, trains, tugboats, suicide, circus people and more. He writes prose poems to the wilderness and pays homage to wildlife, both humble (turtles) and splendid (wolves), but is as at home on pavement as he is on dirt trails. True, Hoagland loves the country, the forest and the mountains, but he does not resort to idyllic distortions or to a whining contempt for the metropolis: ``But to claim that the city is dying, never to `turn the corner,' is not to announce that we should jump for the lifeboats. There are still no better people than New Yorkers . . . . And my mountain is dying too.'' Most of all, Hoagland revels in his memories, reconstructing perceptions from the past and exploring the meaning of his own thoughts of parents, home town, private school, summers in the country, lovers, marriages and divorces. (September)
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