ABOUT THIS BOOK
In these fifteen personal essays, Gary Gildner comes of age at a Catholic school learning Latin, how the girls crossed their legs in algebra, and football in the school’s bomb shelter by exchanging punches with his best friend. He goes to Communist Poland to teach American literature and, in medias res, teaches the Warsaw Sparks baseball team how to win. Living in Czechoslovakia when that country is splitting in half, he learns the meaning of “Where the Dog is Buried” and fathers a daughter. Gildner writes about his Polish-German family’s immigrant story and his friendships with poet Richard Hugo and Raymond Andrews, his college roommate and the author of Baby Sweet’s and other African American novels. He writes about 9/11, stealing, meeting a cougar up close, meeting Michele, felling his barn in Idaho’s Clearwater Mountains with a crowbar, and boxing with Chuck Davey, a fellow Michigan State Spartan and one-time challenger for the World Welterweight title.
Essays from this collection have appeared in such venues as the New York Times Magazine, The Southern Review, and New Letters.