Home of Michael Perry – New York Times Bestselling Author, Humorist, Singer/Songwriter, Intermittent Pig Farmer

Posts Tagged ‘books’

But Still No Harry

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.

New Literature and Medicine Anthology

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.

Kidney Stone Story

Because a couple of folks have asked, the kidney stone story I often perform live is included in this book:

"Off Main Street" Paperback Cover

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.

Between the Books and the Music

Sometimes people ask me if the books and the music are connected.  Sometimes, yep.  Amble Down Records compiled the following summary describing the connections from the Tiny Pilot album:

– 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.

Printable .pdf here.

COOP Paperback Now Available

As of today, Coop is now officially available in paperback.  Included: new cover, new subtitle, new “P.S.” essay, and tucked in the back there, a little info about this project.

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: