Edward Hoagland, best known for his essays, is also an extraordinary writer as fiction, as readers of his stories "The Final Fate of Alligators" and "Kwan's Coney Island" can attest. First published in periodicals such as "The Paris Review," "Esquire," "The New Yorker," "The American Review," and Saul Bellow's famous literary magazine, " The Nobel Savage," Hoagland's stories amazed readers with their precise language and finely etched characters. He has been widely anthologized, including in Best American Short Stories. Assembled here are stories new and old, spanning from 1960 to today.
Meet the death-defying motorcycle trick riders in the carnival's Devil's Tub, a man who keeps an alligator in his bathtub, a Chinese launder in Coney Island in search of love, a frontiersman who saves himself from a mauling grizzly bear by hiding in a beaver dam, three men from a circus looking for trouble at a rodeo, a washed out boxer trying to to hang onto his career, and dozens of others rich characters. From the cramped and gritty streets of New York City to the wide open spaces of the Old West, Hoagland's characters pine, ache, create, observe, love, learn, and live in such precisely rendered stories that we are transported into each of their peculiar worlds.