Bermuda Shorts, a collection of essays and stories by James J. Patterson
In clothing, Bermuda shorts are a kind of casual formal wear – and in this collection of essays, Bermuda Shorts is the perfect metaphor for James J. Patterson’s fundamentally serious but playful literary style. Patterson grew up with a foot planted in each of two worlds, one in Washington DC, and one in rural Ontario, where his Canadian mother insisted the family spend their summers. His father, one of the wizards of twentieth-century newspaper publishing, introduced him to the big city’s wheels of money and power, which he would later navigate as an entrepreneur. But those Canadian summers introduced him to a different world – one where a cedar strip boat was better than any car, and where the ghosts of those who’d previously inhabited the family’s island house floated out over the water of Lovesick Lake. It is those two worlds that blend in this collection of reflections about what it means to be an artist, an iconoclast, a patriot, and a man.
Lovers of the personal essay should be rejoicing in the streets at the publication of Bermuda Shorts. Whether he’s writing on politics, culture, sports, or the arts, James J. Patterson’s work is full of an endangered resource – the magnificent, apparently inexhaustible fund of sheer energy that springs from every page. — Rick Walter, former LA Times writer