The Wise Guys’ Bundle
James J. Patterson and Richard Peabody are the resident wise men of ASP. Their prose will make you laugh, cry, and most importantly, look up from the page and ponder. They will give you the hard with the soft, the sad with the ecstatic, and all the while deny the difference. For the ruminative reader with a ribald sense of humor, there is no sweeter satisfaction than the beat stylings of Richard Peabody. For the worldly — or otherworldly — Thoreauvian, look no further than the hypocrisy-destroying essays of James J. Patterson for your spiritual fix. You might say the marriage of The Peabody Reader and Bermuda Shorts was a match made in heaven, if it wasn’t for the fact that no sweet departed soul carrying these books would make it past the pearly gates unjudged.
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.
The Richard Peabody Reader
The Richard Peabody Reader is a wide-ranging selection of this great writer’s poetry and prose, filling an important gap in the literary world. As a publisher, Peabody’s steadfast dedication to that which is new, challenging, innovative and dynamic has won him a wide reputation among writers whose work he has championed. This volume demonstrates those same values, embodied in nearly four decades of fiercely smart, sophisticated, and often very funny writing. From his first collection of poems, I’m in Love With the Morton Salt Girl, to his most recent collection of short stories, Blue Suburban Skies, Peabody has established and developed a thoroughly unique voice, both warm and piercing, to deliver content that ranges from the hilarious, as in the short story “Flea Wars,” to the bittersweet, as in the poem “The Other Man is Always French,” to the elegiac, as in the poem in “Civil War Pieta,” to the absurd, as in the rollicking farce of the short story, “Bad Day at Ikea.”