My Staggerford Journal

Overview

"April 3, 1976. Completed Staggerford this morning at 9:15. . . . The most satisfying thing I've done since playing high school football."

In the spring of 1975, an unknown Minnesota teacher named Jon Hassler decided to take a sabbatical and fulfill his lifelong dream of writing a novel. A year later, Hassler typed the final page of Staggerford--a book that has won a cherished place as a classic novel of small-town life in America. Now, many years and many novels later, Hassler shares the private story of ...

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Overview

"April 3, 1976. Completed Staggerford this morning at 9:15. . . . The most satisfying thing I've done since playing high school football."

In the spring of 1975, an unknown Minnesota teacher named Jon Hassler decided to take a sabbatical and fulfill his lifelong dream of writing a novel. A year later, Hassler typed the final page of Staggerford--a book that has won a cherished place as a classic novel of small-town life in America. Now, many years and many novels later, Hassler shares the private story of Staggerford's creation as recorded in the vividly revealing journals he kept while writing the book.

Hassler's My Staggerford Journal is at once the narrative of a work of art struggling to be born and the portrait of a creative mind in the throes of a life-altering breakthrough. Day by day, we peer over Hassler's shoulder as he breathes life into his creation--realizing with a sudden flash of insight that his hero Miles Pruitt should not have a wife, shaping and reshaping the character of the Bonewoman, heeding the good "advice" of the spirited Miss Agatha McGee, stumbling on the perfect title. Here, too, is the moving account of the novelist's inner doubts and comic missteps, his lonely triumphs and jarring sacrifices.

My Staggerford Journal affords a rare glimpse into the imagination of one of the best-loved masters of contemporary American fiction. Jon Hassler's many fans, as well as all readers interested in seeing the creative process at work, will be spellbound by this wonderful book.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This slim volume is the journal that popular author Hassler kept during 1975, when he took a sabbatical year from teaching and wrote Staggerford, his first novel of small-town life. He has since written ten more novels and in September brought out a book of short stories (Keepsakes and Other Stories). Hassler says he discovered early on that his journal writing had more vitality if he wrote to friends rather than just to himself, and he dedicates this book to Dick Brook, to whom most of it was originally addressed. The rigors of preparing manuscripts before the days of PCs and other historical details are effortlessly and charmingly presented. The tone throughout is friendly and conversational, hard to fault but also hardly stimulating. Recommended only where interest in Hassler's work is strong.--Mary Paumier Jones, Westminster P.L., CO Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780345432889
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 12/7/1999
  • Pages: 100
  • Product dimensions: 5.34 (w) x 8.24 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Jon Hassler is Regent's Professor Emeritus at St. John's University, Minnesota, and lives with his wife, Gretchen, in Minneapolis. He is also the author of nine widely acclaimed novels: Staggerford, Simon's Night, The Love Hunter, A Green Journey, Grand Opening, North of Hope, Dear James, Rookery Blues, and The Dean's List.
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