The Heart of Things: A Midwestern Almanac

By John Hildebrand

Hardcover: $22.95

ISBN: 978-0-87020-672-6

200 pages, 5.5 x 8,5 E-book Edition Available

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"I've never believed that living in one place means being one thing all the time, condemned like Minnie Pearl to wear the same hat for every performance. Life is more complicated than that."

In this remarkable book of days, John Hildebrand charts the overlapping rings--home, town, countryside--of life in the Midwest. Like E. B. White, Hildebrand locates the humor and drama in ordinary life: church suppers, Friday night football, outdoor weddings, garden compost, family reunions, roadside memorials, camouflage clothing. In these wry, sharply observed essays, the Midwest isn't The Land Time Forgot but a more complicated (and vastly more interesting) place where the good life awaits once we figure exactly out what it means. From his home range in northwestern Wisconsin, Hildebrand attempts to do just that by boiling down a calendar year to its rich marrow--weather, animals, family, home--in other words, all the things that matter.

John Hildebrand is a professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He is the author of Reading the River: A Voyage Down the Yukon, Mapping the Farm: A Family Chronicle, and A Northern Front: New & Selected Essays, and his articles and essays have appeared in Harper’s magazine, Audubon, Sports Illustrated, Outside, The Best American Sports Writing-1999, and The Missouri Review. He has been awarded a Minnesota Book Award, Banta Award from the Wisconsin Library Association, Bush Fellowship, Wisconsin Arts Board Fellowship, and a Friends of American Libraries Award.

"No writer has challenged--and sharpened--my ‘sense of place’ more than John Hildebrand. Throughout these essays--rooted in Wisconsin but relevant the whole world wide--the heart wrestles the mind, and both emerge strengthened. We are lucky to have this man writing on our behalf."  - Michael Perry

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