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Old Songs in a New Cafe: Selected Essays

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Robert James Waller began the pieces in this book on a warm, green morning in the summer of 1983. He hadn't set out to be a writer. He just needed to record his feelings about people and animals and things he cared about. His first story, "Ridin' Along in Safety with Kennedy and Kuralt," told about being young and a musician, and how playing "The Wabash Cannonball" one day in a roadside bar changed the rest of his life. The Des Moines Register printed the essay, and people began...
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Overview

Robert James Waller began the pieces in this book on a warm, green morning in the summer of 1983. He hadn't set out to be a writer. He just needed to record his feelings about people and animals and things he cared about. His first story, "Ridin' Along in Safety with Kennedy and Kuralt," told about being young and a musician, and how playing "The Wabash Cannonball" one day in a roadside bar changed the rest of his life. The Des Moines Register printed the essay, and people began asking for more.

The result is Old Songs in a New Cafe. A work of nonfiction, it takes you inside Robert James Waller's mind and world...revealing insightful experiences from his own life and, with his special magic, illuminating those poignant moments most of us share. Few writers possess the power to move us. Even fewer become legends in their own time. Robert James Waller has done both. Just as you have loved his best-selling novels, you will love...

From Robert James Waller comes a wonderful collection of 19 essays--all of them as romantic, reflective, and timeless as readers have come to expect from the author of The Bridges of Madison County--a celebration of life and loss, of what things still can be.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Waller, whose The Bridges of Madison County has been on PW's bestseller list since August 1992, offers 19 essays about love, life and death, written between 1983 and 1989. (July)
Library Journal
Previously published in two separate volumes, these 19 essays by best-selling author Waller (The Bridges of Madison County, LJ 3/1/92) provide various, intimate, and stimulating reflections. Among them are his expressions of love for a newly grown daughter (``Excavating Rachael's Room''), a loving tribute to his wife of over 30 years (``Slow Waltz for Georgia Ann''), portraits of personal and often irregular heroes (``The Boy from the Burma Hump''), and multiple celebrations of things that he loves. These include music, travel, basketball, nature, and, above all, romance. In the revelation of his loves, one0 discovers the essential Waller, a man who writes both to find and to express himself. In sharing his own strong passions, Waller demonstrates his gift for expressing feelings that all people have but do not think that others have. Public libraries will want this. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/93.]-Marie L. Lally, Alabama Sch. of Mathematics & Science, Mobile
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786202348
  • Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
  • Publication date: 7/15/1995
  • Pages: 219
  • Product dimensions: 5.49 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.89 (d)

Table of Contents

Foreword
Preface
Excavating Rachael's Room 1
Slow Waltz for Georgia Ann 9
Incident at Sweet's Marsh 17
A Canticle for Roadcat 25
Romance 41
A Rite of Passage in Three Cushions 53
The Boy from the Burma Hump 63
Ridin' Along in Safety with Kennedy and Kuralt 81
Jump Shots 87
The Turning of Fifty 97
I Am Orange Band 111
Drinking Wine the New York Way 117
In Cedar Key, Harriet Smith Loves Birds and Hates Plastic 125
Brokerage 133
Running into Perry 137
The Lion of Winter 141
One Good Road Is Enough 147
Southern Flight 157
A Matter of Honor 165
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 3, 2002

    in honor of

    Old Songs In a New Cafe is a book that I bring with me when I travel. I read it often and give it to friends as gifts. It has affected me in a very meaningful way. It is a masterpiece of literature. For every traveller, son, father - man.

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