The Grifter, the Poet, and the Runaway Train: Stories from a Yankee Writer's Notebook

The Grifter, the Poet, and the Runaway Train: Stories from a Yankee Writer's Notebook

by Geoffrey Douglas


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For over 20 years, Geoffrey Douglas has written feature-length pieces for Yankee magazine that chronicle extraordinary stories that have taken place in New England. Some have been about public events, widely reported––a Maine town turning against itself under the weight of an influx of Somalis, a fatal fire in Worcester MA, a Vermont reporter’s defense of marriage equality. Others, have been more private, the stories of men and women surviving, facing choices, living life––a small-time jockey scratching out an existence at county-fair racetracks; the long, sad fall of a Maine lottery winner, a poet’s love affair with his town. The best of these, taken together, make for a rich and updated collection of New England portraits: mostly ordinary lives, upended by choice or chance, turned suddenly, unexpectedly remarkable.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493041480
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2019
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 741,330
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Geoffrey Douglas is an American author and journalist and adjunct professor of writing at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell. His nonfiction books include The Game of Their Lives (about the 1950 FIFA World Cup soccer match between the United States and England) (1996, 2005), which resulted in a movie of the same name (2005) starring Gerard Butler and Wes Bentley; He also wrote The Classmates: Privilege, Chaos and the End of an Era (2008); Dead Opposite: The Lives and Loss of Two American Boys (1994); and Class: The Wreckage of an American Family, based partly on his own experiences. (1992). His magazine work has been anthologized; "The Double Life of Laura Shaw" is in Best American Sports Writing 2001, while his story in Yankee, "A Question of Life and Death," was a 2002 finalist for a National Magazine Award in reporting.

Table of Contents

Foreword Mel Allen, Yankee magazine vii

Death in the Home Stretch 1

A Break in the Family 13

"The Town Is Gone" 30

The Night the Bandit Dog Came In: A Memoir 49

Only Fools Were Not Afraid 55

The Double Life of Laura Shaw 68

A Voice Against Hate 79

A Question of Life and Death 91

The Conscience of a Chief 115

Searching for Alexander 130

Caught Between Two Cultures 145

A New Hampshire Love Story 157

Inferno: The Worcester Fire 160

The Redemption of Julie Barnes 176

"Something Bad Was Going to Happen" 182

The Man Who Loves Lowell 191

Broken-Hearted Town 200

About the Author 216

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