celebrating Alyson Hagy, a writer we can all root for

Saturday, June 16, 2012

For the past many weeks, Alyson Hagy has been touring the country with her fine third novel Boleto, a book that has been celebrated in media ranging from The New Yorker and the Washington Post to the Chicago Tribune and Star Tribune.  Ron Hogan, writing for USA Character Approved, concluded his thoughts about the book with the words, "If there's a better novel published this year, it's going to have to be pretty spectacular." And of course I've been singing about Boleto ever since I sat down at Christmas to read the ARC. 

This weekend, Boleto is the lead novel reviewed in The New York Times Sunday Book Review—an achievement for Alyson that makes me, her friend, incredibly proud.  Bruce Machart was given the responsibility.  He writes, among other things, "Hagy often dazzles with her descriptions of the Wyoming landscape and wildlife. Whether it’s the corral of the Testerman ranch, the rugged passes of the Black Bell Ranch or the depressed outskirts of Anaheim, the settings glimmer with well-chosen metaphors."  He also uses the words entertaining and entrancing to describe her opening pages.

Yes, in fact, that's true.  I've known Alyson for a long time now.  I've read nearly every published word she's written, and I continue to be mystified by her continuing, and continually strengthening, powers.  I'm mystified, too, by the way she finds time to report back about her life amidst her travels, teaching, adventures, her raising of a remarkable, words-bound son.  Alyson has friends all across this country.  She somehow makes time for us all.  And never once—in all that she has achieved, in all that she can do—does she so much as lean toward attitude.  Never once does she fail to ask, "And how are you?"  She's just doing her thing, living her life, finding her stories, and thank goodness the world has noticed, because heaven knows, Alyson Hagy does not trumpet herself, does not ask for that kind of attention.

Alyson Hagy is that quality of person—and writer—we can all root for.


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