Hunker: Brief Essays on Human Connection


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From the author: “The pieces in this book were written over a period of two years beginning right around the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is a presence in the pieces but less than you might expect or fear or hope. Each week I wobbled between feeling I was failing to meet the moment and feeling I was a grandiose fool to think anyone was asking.

But week after week, slowly at first, and then regularly, I received messages, emails, comments, and sometimes even a handwritten note from folks I felt I could trust: readers. In short, they weren’t looking to me for advice or a “take” on the latest news blast or controversy or tragedy or variant. Instead they said they were grateful for a brief break from it all. Something to go with their morning coffee. Something to read before bed. Something that was anything but that other thing. Something to lighten the hunker.”


“To hunker is not to cower. To hunker is to hang in there. To stubbornly persevere. To shore up your little circle. Bank your fires. Tend to the hearts beating beneath your own roof. Do what needs to be done.”

“If you want certainty, drop a big rock on your little toe.”

“So often it feels that child-rearing is accomplished in thirty-second increments of what now?

“Yesterday I shared my failure with the world, and the world was delighted. We are surrounded by the facade of everyone but us having it together. Thus we find joyful unity in a flop.”

“…birds have been cropping up in my writing a lot lately…I suspect it has something to do with their willingness to sing for us even when we don’t deserve it.”

“Talking out loud to chickens is standard operating procedure around here.”

Including columns originally published between March 22, 2020, and January 9, 2022, Hunker picks up where Perry’s most recent collection Peaceful Persistence left off, with Million Billion, Roughneck Grace, and From the Top completing the quintet.

eBook version available on Kindle here.

Audiobook version available here.

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Sneezing Cow Publishing
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