A Charles Portis Miscellany
Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Hardcover, 9781935106500, 358pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2012
All the familiar Portis elements are here: picaresque adventures, deadpan humor, an expert eye for detail and keen ear for the spoken word, and encounters with oddball characters both real and imagined. The collection encompasses the breadth of his fifty-year writing career, from his gripping reportage of the civil rights movement for the New York Herald Tribune to a comic short story about the demise of journalism in the 21st century. New to even the most ardent fan is his three-act play, "Delray's New Moon," performed onstage in 1996 and published here for the first time.
Whether this is your first encounter with the world of Portis or a long-awaited return to it, you'll agree with critic Ron Rosenbaum--whose essay appears here alongside tributes by other writers--that Portis "will come to be regarded as the author of classics on the order of a twentieth-century Mark Twain, a writer who captures the soul of America.
Charles Portis lives in Arkansas, where he was born and educated. He served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, was the London bureau chief of the "New York Herald-Tribune", and was a writer for "The New Yorker."
Jay Jennings is a freelance writer whose journalism, book reviews and humor have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including the "New York Times, "the" Wall Street Journal, "the" Los Angeles Times, "the "Oxford American, "and "Travel & Leisure. "He is a regular contributor to the "New York Times Book Review "and the" San Francisco Chronicle".