Sex and the River Styx by Edward Hoagland

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Called the best essayist of his time by luminaries like Philip Roth, John Updike, and Edward Abbey, Edward Hoagland brings readers his ultimate collection. In Sex and the River Styx, the author's sharp eye and intense curiosity shine through in essays that span his childhood exploring the woods in his rural Connecticut, his days as a circus worker, and his travels the world over in his later years.

Here, we meet Hoagland at his best: traveling to Kampala, Uganda, to meet a family he'd been helping support only to find a divide far greater than he could have ever imagined; reflecting on aging, love, and sex in a deeply personal, often surprising way; and bringing us the wonder of wild places, alongside the disparity of losing them, and always with a twist that brings the genre of nature writing to vastly new heights. His keen dissection of social realities and the human spirit will both startle and lure readers as they meet African matriarchs, Tibetan yak herders, circus aerialists, and the strippers who entertained college boys in 1950s Boston. Says Howard Frank Mosher in his foreword, the self-described rhapsodist "could fairly be considered our last, great transcendentalist."


About Edward Hoagland

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Widely celebrated for his essays on travel and nature, Edward Hoagland has written more than twenty books. Both fiction and nonfiction, his works include "Cat Man" (his first book, which won the 1954 Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship), "Walking the Dead Diamond River" (a 1974 National Book Award nominee), "African Calliope" (a 1980 American Book Award nominee), and "The Tugman's Passage" (a 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award nominee). He worked at the Barnum & Bailey Circus while attending Harvard in the early 1950s and later traveled around the world writing for "Harper's, National Geographic," and other magazines. He received two Guggenheim Fellowships and in 1982 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Hoagland was the editor of "The Best American Essays" 1999, and taught at The New School, Rutgers, Sarah Lawrence, CUNY, the University of Iowa, UC Davis, Columbia University, Beloit College, and Brown University. In 2005, he retired from a teaching position at Bennington College in Vermont. He lives in northern Vermont.
Published February 18, 2011 by Chelsea Green Publishing. 275 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Nature & Wildlife, Science & Math, Sports & Outdoors. Non-fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Another great naturalist, John Muir, once wrote, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” There might not be a more apropos line to describe this book, which not only finds Hoagland reminiscing on his many widespread...

Mar 15 2011 | Read Full Review of Sex and the River Styx

Publishers Weekly

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Naturalist, novelist, and prolific essayist, Hoagland (Cat Man) describes his love affair with nature, given a fresh twist by his conviction that "human nature is interstitial with nature, and not to be shunned by a naturalist."

Feb 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Sex and the River Styx

Open Letters Monthly

For those readers who’ve been following the serpentine path of Edward Hoagland’s publishing career since the early 1970s, there is a dogged luminescence in his latest (and possibly last – we’re none of us getting any younger) essay collection, Death and the River Styx, that not even a Foreward by...

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Oregon Live

"Believing in life," Edward Hoagland writes in "Curtain Calls," one of the essays in his splendid new collection, "I believe in death as well, and at seventy-six look forward to my immersion in the other plane of the seesaw also.

Apr 09 2011 | Read Full Review of Sex and the River Styx

Huntington News

Often typecast as a nature essayist -- a modern incarnation of Henry David Thoreau -- Hoagland's range is much wider, with the collection containing thirteen linked essays exploring his childhood wandering in the woods in rural connecticut, his days as a circus worker, chronicled in detail in "Ca...

Apr 14 2011 | Read Full Review of Sex and the River Styx

ForeWord Reviews

Hoagland has traveled widely—the essays in this book take the reader to Africa, Asia, and the American West—but he is also the kind of observer who dives deep into a moment, observing in minute and ecstatic detail the life around him.

Apr 28 2011 | Read Full Review of Sex and the River Styx

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