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Idyll Banter: Weekly Excursions to a Very Small Townby Christopher A. Bohjalian
Synopses & Reviews
In March 1986, while living in Brooklyn, Chris Bohjalian and his wife were cab-napped on a Saturday night and taken on a forty-five-minute joy ride in which the driver ignored all traffic lights and stop signs. Around midnight he deposited the young couple on a near-deserted street, where police officers were about to storm a crack house. Bohjalian and his wife were told to hit the ground for their own protection. While lying on the pavement, Bohjalian's wife suggested that perhaps it was time to move to New England.
Months later they traded in their co-op in Brooklyn for a century-old Victorian house in Lincoln, Vermont (population 975), and Bohjalian began chronicling life in that town in a wide variety of magazine essays and in his newspaper column, "Idyll Banter."
These pieces, written weekly for twelve years and collected here for the first time, serve as a diary of both this writer's life and how America has been transformed in the last decade. Rich with idiosyncratic universals that come with being a parent, a child, and a spouse, Chris Bohjalian's personal observations are a reflection of our own common experience.
"Chris Bojalian is a terrific columnist—thoughtful and thought-provoking. Just like me! No, really, this guy is good." —Dave Barry, author of Boogers Are My Beat
“The best book I’ve ever read about life in a contemporary village. There’s no doubt that Chris Bohjalian has established himself as one of America’s finest, most thoughtful, and most humane writers.”
—Howard Frank Mosher
From the Hardcover edition.
From the bestselling author of The Buffalo Soldier comes a collection of essays exploring life in a small town.
An evocative compilation of essays, based on a series of weekly columns, reflects on life in a small town in New England, covering such themes as A Flatlander's Guide to Wildlife, The Inept Homeowner's Guide to This (Very) Old House, Community, Parenthood, and Family as it explores how America has changed over the past decade. 75,000 first printing.
A compilation of essays, based on a series of weekly columns, reflects on life in a small town in New England as it explores how America has changed over the past decade.
About the Author
CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the award-winning author of eight novels, including The Buffalo Soldier, Trans-sister Radio, The Law of Similars, and Midwives.
Table of Contents
The yellow house on the corner of Quaker Street — Now that the cows are gone — Sowing the seeds with a little sprout — That roof didn't collapse : it's a home improvement project — Love blooms over the septic tank — Scenic barn is really a biohazard — Dead cluster flies serve as window insulation for the inept — City slicker gets a taste of country marketing — Theater, on stage and off, inspires young actress — Two types of writing — The center of town — Losing the library — Walk the postal route with a mailman to get to know the town — It's the cream cheese brownies that bring out the vote — The slowest driver in Vermont — Vermont has changed-but not its people X — Life, liberty and plenty of Charmin — Meetings messy by necessity — Village's center starts in aisle one — The school-playgrounds and classrooms — Drama lives in preschool Oz odyssey — It's not easy to be a kid — The thrill, the stress, the joy of the race — Isaac and Gus survive girl world — Inspiring teachers make education worth every penny — Will sleeping beauty wake for school? — A crush on your teacher is no excuse to act like a geek — Don't believe all you read : the kids are all right — A person can learn a lot from Ian Freeman — The local wildlife — Surly cow displays no remorse — Dead bat duty draws the line — Town's all atwitter about Rosie — It's not mind over matter-it's mind over manure — The case of the curious crustacean — An old cat's name alone conjured wondrous memories — The green-and then spectacularly yellow and red-mountains — Why the Green Mountains turn red — Vermont ready to be mired in spring — Spirits live at Bartlett's swimming hole — The Vermont woods look different without any leaves — Snow colors Vermont in beauty — Cheating death in the ap-gap — Sugarers signal end of winter — Select numbers show a changing Vermont — A church with a weathervane atop the steeple — A fender bender with baby Jesus? — Clouds can't hide the sun on a spiritually bright Easter morning — Faith gives a child serenity — Marriage weds love to laughter --- Thank you, friend, for guiding me deeper into my faith — The cemetery — Of memory and hope — A passing of history and hospitality — An elegy for the state's finest Red Sox fan — How a family copes with loss : building love on little white lies — Farmers Fletcher and Don Brown knew how to grow community — A family's farewell to tiger — Brief excursions away from Lincoln — Untethered in Spain, set free on Route — Flirtatious Minnie pulls up her hem — Midlife crisis results in taking part in the weenie triathlon — Rice pudding and French editor help novice cyclist survive — A gardener can take pride in those $17 carrots — Before books on tape there was mom — At Denver's Gate B52 when the world was transformed — Talking then, talking now — Candy hearts would have bewildered Armenian grandparents --- On Mother's Day, grandmother briefly returned — The ladies' room just inside Tomorrowland : a short story.
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