Idyll Banter by Chris Bohjalian
Weekly Excursions to a Very Small Town

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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 Bohjalian 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.

About Chris Bohjalian

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CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the critically acclaimed author of twelve novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Skeletons at the Feast, The Double Bind, and Midwives. His novel, Midwives, was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. His work has been translated into more than 25 languages and twice became movies (Midwives and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. Visit him at or on Facebook.From the Hardcover edition.
Published December 16, 2003 by Crown. 240 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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In 1992, after six years of living in Lincoln, a burg of fewer than a thousand souls near Burlington, novelist Bohjalian (The Buffalo Soldier, 2002, etc.) was asked to write a column for the Burlington Free Press to be called “Idyll Banter.” These short rural portraits were pegged to make residen...

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Publishers Weekly

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This audio adaptation of Bohjalian's (Midwives , etc.) collection of essays on life in small-town Lincoln, Vt., gets off to a slow start but soon finds its voice.

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