Looking for my copy of Feast of Snakes. I know it was on the shelf in the “dining room” (read: bachelor library) of my old house. So I took a chance on this box, one of many, many, many still in the pole barn after the move five years ago.
No luck. But my goodness, the evocations. Seeing these books – their spines, their covers, their associations and connotations – was like walking into a class reunion.
Had to seal the box back up and get back to the typing. Will look for Harry again another time.
When Therese Zink was teaching in the Rural Physician Assistant Program at the University of Minnesota, she became interested in the stories of small town medicine. Now she has compiled an anthology published as part of the Literature and Medicine by Kent State University Press filled with essays exploring this concept. The book is called The Country Doctor Revisited, and I’m honored to say it includes an essay drawn from Population 485.
Table of contents here.
Because a couple of folks have asked, the kidney stone story I often perform live is included in this book:
Also included: stories about truckers, truckin’, truckin’ music, Elvis, Steve Earle, manure, baldness, small-town funerals, tricky book tour moments, veterans, Aaron Tippin, giant musky statues, hot summer days, and existentialist cowboys.
P.S. The title my editor came up with for the kidney stone story was, “Rock Slide!” I still get a little pale when I think about it.
- The opening verse of “Edge of Town” is set on the highway overpasses described on pages 99-104 of Population 485: Meeting Your Neighbors One Siren at a Time (HarperPerennial).
- The album’s title song, “Tiny Pilot,” was written in memory of Perry’s nephew Jake, as described in Coop: A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting (released in paperback as Coop: A Family, A Farm, and the Pursuit of One Good Egg).
- “If They Give You Wings” is a song drawn directly from scenes in “Branding God,” the essay found on page 256 of Perry’s book, Off Main Street (HarperPerennial). The song lyrics also include a Dylan Thomas sample.
- “Harry Was Right” (bonus song available on physical CD version of album only as track #14) is a song set in a real-life bar called The Joynt. Perry’s readers will recognize the bar and its denizens from Chapter 13 of Truck: A Love Story (HarperPerennial) and may especially enjoy singing along with the bridge, which is a direct quote from the book: No…light…beer!
- Perry wrote the first verse of “Indiana” while driving from Michigan to Illinois on his Coop hardcover tour. The song makes specific reference to “Seven A.M.,” the Edward Hopper painting that anchors Chapter 8 (beginning on p. 138) of Truck: A Love Story (HarperPerennial).
- The lyrics of “Cissy Moan” invoke Oxford, Mississippi (home of Square Books) and the writers Larry Brown, Barry Hannah, and William Faulkner. The main character of the song is caught stealing books at “Lemuria” in reference to the actual bookstore in Jackson, Mississippi.
Over at It’s All About Books, I did a “Pick Five” about my literary influences. Now I want to be back on the porch at Mom and Dad’s place, reading with the screens open…
Book tour begins today as well. Details here. Before it’s all over, health and fate willing, I’ll go from ‘Sconsin to New York. Today, however, I’m planting oats. Pretty much right on the spot where that tot and those chickens are standing:
Time speeds along faster than a chicken coop on wheels! The very first paperback copy of Coop arrived via the UPS truck last week, and we are now able to take orders (all orders will be signed by Mike).
Here’s the cover:
Yep, those are our chickens, and that’s our tyke herding them. She had only recently learned to walk when the photo was taken. Now she’s threatening to read the book herself. Once again, this cover was the work of our friends John and Julie.
As you can see, the book has a new subtitle. On the hardcover, the subtitle was “A Year of Poultry, Pigs, and Parenting.” I’ve never had a book come out with two separate subtitles before. There were meetings involved. I believe we are attempting to broaden the demographic, as they say. I’m plumb happy with my current demographic, but welcome any newcomers. Question is, does this make the hardcover (signed copies still in stock!) even more valuable as a collector’s item?
By the way, this paperback version is a “P.S.” model, which means it includes an author interview and a new essay by Mike updating events (feral guinea hens, anyone?) since the hardcover release.
I’ll be on paperback tour in May and April. We’ve added tentative dates to the calendar with more details to follow soon.