WHY WE'RE HERE: New York Essayists on Living Upstate
Contributors include James McConkey, Brock Clarke, Dan Roche, Mary Hussmann, Natalia Rachel Singer, Jennifer Brice, Leila Philip, Paul Graham, William Bradley, Paul Pines, Anne Panning, Ned Stuckey-French, Bibi Wein, Stephen Haven, Robert Strong, Marion Roach Smith, and Rick Henry
GREEN FIELDS: Crime, Punishment, and a Boyhood Between
A memoir detailing the murder of my first grade classmate in 1979 and the execution of her killer more than 20 years later, the first execution in Tennessee in 40 years.
DREAM SEASON (Grove/Atlantic, November 2004)
At age thirty, Bob Cowser, Jr., is a happy husband, father, and English professor in upstate New York. But he senses that something is missing from the good life. He finds himself craving the exhilaration he felt as a young man growing up in sports-crazy Tennessee when he took the field for high school football games. In what is every Monday morning quarterback’s fantasy, Bob Cowser, Jr., revisits his glory days by joining the Watertown Red & Black, the country’s oldest semi-professional football team. Cowser drives the lonely sixty miles to try out for the team in Watertown, a former mill town of soldiers, corrections officers, and blue-collar workers that is a far cry from his leafy campus. As a rookie and an outsider, Cowser must work hard to earn the respect of these hard-edged men, some of them local celebrities. He must also find a way to balance the rigors of practice and game play with the demands of fatherhood, as his wife struggles to cope with a one-year-old son, a career, and a husband on the road. Can Cowser find a way to make the fulfillment of his childhood dream fit into real life as an adult?
SCOREKEEPING: Essays From Home (October 2006, South Carolina)
In 1970 Esquire named the rural West Tennessee college town of Martin as one of the nine happy towns left in the United States. Bob Cowser, Jr., offers a dissenting opinion on this assessment of the bucolic environs of his youth in his collection of forthright reflections on boyhood in Martin and episodes in the other locations that have thus far constituted “home.” Ranging in tone from confessional and contemplative to candid and comic, the pieces in Scorekeeping: Essays from Home form an exceptional portrait of smalltown life as witnessed by an introduced specimen—the son of English professors among insular townies—with an unflinching eye and creative wit.
CONNECTING: Twenty Prominent Authors Write About the Relationships That Shaped Their Lives (Putnam/Tarcher, 1999)
Edited by Lee Gutkind. Includes Cowser's "Scorekeeping." Also includes essays by Raymond Carver and Richard Ford.
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Personal Essays (Anthology)