Wisconsin Historical Society Press
Roughneck Grace: Farmer Yoga, Creeping Codgerism, Apple Golf and Other Brief Essays from On and Off the Back Forty
By Michael Perry
172 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 E-book edition availableBuy
Chosen the 5th Book of Christmas 2016!
(View video here)
New York Times bestselling author and humorist Michael Perry returns with a new collection of bite-sized essays from his Sunday Wisconsin State Journal column, "Roughneck Grace." Perry's perspectives on everything from cleaning the chicken coop to sharing a New York City elevator with supermodels will have you snorting with laughter on one page, blinking back tears on the next, and -- no matter your zip code -- nodding in recognition throughout.
This book was selected as a Midwest Connections Pick for October!
Michael Perry is also the author of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press book From the Top: Brief Transmissions from Tent Show Radio and the award-winning. To learn more about Michael Perry's books and live recordings, visit www.sneezingcow.com.
[Perry's] essays inspire a lot of collective nodding – like the first time he saw the Packers on a flat-screen – and also many laughs. You can't help but chuckle when he describes a yoga studio that caters to farmers or misses a deer while hunting because he’s reading Poets & Writers. "Writing is a privilege," Perry says, and he uses his column "as a mirror to see how I’m measuring up." Our only grievance: These two-page stories will leave you wanting more. (Kristine Hansen, Milwaukee Magazine, Oct. 19, 2016)
"The pieces chosen for his new essay collection, Roughneck Grace: Farmer Yoga, Creeping Codgerism, Apple Golf and Other Brief Essays from On and Off the Back Forty (Wisconsin Historical Society Press), serve as a compelling reminder of Perry's subtle wit, charm and predilection for nature, family and friends. That may sound a bit sappy, but that's okay. In a world in which 140 characters count as "writing," Perry's thoughtful and sensitive prose provides the authentic perspective of a 50-something man with one steel-toed boot planted firmly in nostalgia and the other in an ever-changing present. (Michael Popke, Isthmus, Oct. 6, 2016)
Excerpts from "Roughneck Grace"
- "The title of this collection ["Roughneck Grace"] arose from the subtitle of "Visiting Tom," a book I wrote about my neighbors Tom and Arlene ... I hoped pairing those two words might convey the idea of grace -- given and received -- beyond the purview of priests or perfection. That prefect things emanate from imperfect people. Based on my own character, I better hope so, from both directions." (From the Introduction)
- "In time one learns to reserve the high horse for only very special occasions involving apple-picking, and even then it's likely best left in the stable." (From "Appreciation")
- "Sleeping is my single favorite hunting activity and terribly underrated as a means of attracting wildlife." (From "Home")
- "Recently a real, live yogi asked my wife and me for help renaming his yoga studio. Asking a guy like me to rename your yoga studio is the rough equivalent of asking a room full of teenaged boys to come up with an advertising slogan for baked beans, but I agreed to do the best I could, which is to say we lowered the bar immediately." (From "Creeping Codgerism")