cover image Balancing Acts

Balancing Acts

Edward Hoagland / Author Simon & Schuster $23 (352p) ISBN 978-

The gems of this collection are the travel pieces (Hoagland describes himself as a chronicler of other peoples' vacations). He takes us on a train ride across the U.S., to the rain forests of Belize, the mountains of North Yemen, to Alaska and into the Okefenokee Swamp. He attends a cowboy-poet's convention in Elko, Nev., and accompanies his daughter on a trail trip in Wyoming. Author of Seven Rivers West and Heart's Desire , Hoagland pays tribute to naturalist writer and novelist Edward Abbey, discusses his literary heroes at various periods in his life and reminisces about his family and events in his childhood. Other essays reflect on the current literary scene and how political revolutions affect writers. This diverse and diverting collection surely will be read with pleasure. (Nov.)