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Coop

by Michael Perry

In over his head with two pigs, a dozen chickens, and a baby due any minute, the acclaimed author of Truck: A Love Story gives us a humorous, heartfelt memoir of a new life in the country. Last seen sleeping off his wedding night in the back of a 1951 International Harvester pickup, Michael Perry is now living in a rickety Wisconsin farmhouse. Faced with thirty-seven acres of fallen fences and overgrown fields, and informed by his pregnant wife that she intends to deliver their baby at home, Perry plumbs his unorthodox childhood--his city-bred parents took in more than a hundred foster children while running a ramshackle dairy farm--for clues to how to proceed as a farmer, a husband, and a father. And when his daughter Amy starts asking about God, Perry is called upon to answer questions for which he's not quite prepared. He muses on his upbringing in an obscure fundamentalist Christian sect and weighs the long-lost faith of his childhood against the skeptical alternative ("You cannot toss your seven-year-old a copy of Being and Nothingness"). Whether Perry is recalling his childhood ("I first perceived my father as a farmer the night he drove home with a giant lactating Holstein tethered to the bumper of his Ford Falcon") or what it's like to be bitten in the butt while wrestling a pig ("two firsts in one day"), Coop is filled with the humor his readers have come to expect. But Perry also writes from the quieter corners of his heart, chronicling experiences as joyful as the birth of his child and as devastating as the death of a dear friend. Alternately hilarious, tender, and as real as pigs in mud, Coop is suffused with a contemporary desire to reconnect with the earth, with neighbors, with meaning . . . and with chickens.

Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets, and Gatemouth's Gator

by Michael Perry

Whether he's fighting fires, passing a kidney stone, hammering down I-80 in an 18-wheeler, or meditating on the relationship between cowboys and God, Michael Perry draws on his rural roots and footloose past to write from a perspective that merges the local with the global. Ranging across subjects as diverse as lot lizards, Klan wizards, and small-town funerals, Perry's writing in this wise and witty collection of essays balances earthiness with poetry, kinetics with contemplation, and is regularly salted with his unique brand of humor.

Off Main Street: Barnstormers, Prophets & Gatemouth's Gator

by Michael Perry

Whether he's fighting fires, passing a kidney stone, hammering down I-80 in an 18-wheeler, or meditating on the relationship between cowboys and God, Michael Perry draws on his rural roots and footloose past to write from a perspective that merges the local with the global. Ranging across subjects as diverse as lot lizards, Klan wizards, and small-town funerals, Perry's writing in this wise and witty collection of essays balances earthiness with poetry, kinetics with contemplation, and is regularly salted with his unique brand of humor.

Peking 1900

by Peter Harrington Michael Perry

Osprey's study of the violent Boxer Rebellion, which swept northern China in 1900. The Boxers were a secret society who sought to rid their country of the pernicious influence of the foreign powers who had gradually acquired a stranglehold on China. With the connivance of the Imperial Court they laid siege to the legation quarter of Peking. Trapped inside were an assortment of diplomats, civilians and a small number of troops. They were all Sir Claude Macdonald, the British Minister in Peking, had to defend against thousands of hostile Boxers and Imperial troops. It would now be a race against time. Could the rag-tag defenders hold out long enough for the gathering relief force to reach them? This book describes the desperate series of events as the multinational force rushed to their rescue.

Population: 485

by Michael Perry

Here the local vigilante is a farmer's wife armed with a pistol and a Bible, the most senior member of the volunteer fire department is a cross-eyed butcher with one kidney and two ex-wives (both of whom work at the only gas station in town), and the back roads are haunted by the ghosts of children and farmers. Michael Perry loves this place. He grew up here, and now -- after a decade away -- he has returned. Unable to polka or repair his own pickup, his farm-boy hands gone soft after years of writing, Mike figures the best way to regain his credibility is to join the volunteer fire department. Against a backdrop of fires and tangled wrecks, bar fights and smelt feeds, he tells a frequently comic tale leavened with moments of heartbreaking delicacy and searing tragedy.

Truck: A Love Story

by Michael Perry

The author of Population: 485 returns, delivering a truckload of humor, heart, and . . . gardening tips? Think Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, complete with stock cars, sexy vegetables, and a laugh track. "All I wanted to do was fix my old pickup truck," says Michael Perry. "That, and plant my garden. Then I met this woman. . . ." Truck: A Love Story recounts a year in which Perry struggles to grow his own food ("Seed catalogs are responsible for more unfulfilled fantasies than Enron and Penthouse combined"), live peaceably with his neighbors (one test-fires his black powder rifle in the alley; another's best Sunday shirt reads 100 PERCENT WHUP-ASS), and sort out his love life. But along the way, he sets his hair on fire, is attacked by wild turkeys, takes a date to the fire department chicken dinner, and proposes marriage to a woman in New Orleans. As with Population: 485, much of the spirit of Truck: A Love Story may be found in the characters Perry meets: a one-eyed land surveyor, a paraplegic biker who rigs a sidecar so that his quadriplegic pal can ride along, a bartender who refuses to sell light beer, an enchanting woman who never existed, and half the staff of National Public Radio. By turns hilarious and heartfelt, a tale that begins on a pile of sheep manure, detours to the Whitney Museum of American Art, and returns to the deer-hunting swamps of northern Wisconsin, Truck: A Love Story becomes a testament to the surprising and unintended consequences of love. 1006

Visiting Tom: A Man, a Highway, and the Road to Roughneck Grace

by Michael Perry

Tom is 82-year-old Tom Hartwig, an old-timer best known locally for building and firing homemade cannons. Toiling in a shop that Perry describes as an "antique store stocked by Rube Goldberg, curated by Hunter Thompson, and rearranged by a small earthquake," Tom works from scratch to make everything from shovel handles to parts for quarter-million-dollar farm equipment. He has an endless reservoir of stories dating back to the days of his prize Model A. Visiting Tom is dominated by the elderly man's equanimity and ultimately by unvarnished tenderness. Tuesdays with Morrie meets Shop Class as Soulcraft as Michael Perry, a middle-aged father of daughters, finds guidance and inspiration in visits with his octogenarian, cannon-shooting neighbor. Visiting Tom celebrates the wisdom, heart, and sass of a vanishing generation that embodies the indomitable spirit of small-town America.

Showing 1 through 7 of 7 results

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