The Devil's Tub

Collected Stories

LIST PRICE $16.99

About The Book

Edward Hoagland, best known for his essays, is also an extraordinary writer of fiction, as readers of his stories “The Final Fate of the Alligators” and “Kwan’s Coney Island” can attest. First published in periodicals such as the Paris Review, Esquire, the New Yorker, New American Review, and Saul Bellow’s famous literary magazine, the Noble Savage, Hoagland’s stories amazed readers with their precise language and finely etched characters. Assembled here are stories new and old, spanning from 1955 to today.

Meet the death-defying motorcycle trick riders in the carnival’s Devil’s Tub, a man who keeps an alligator in his bathtub, a Chinese laundryman in search of love at Coney Island, a frontiersman who saves himself from being mauled by a grizzly bear by hiding in a beaver house, three carnies looking for trouble at a rodeo, a washed-out boxer trying to hang onto his career, and dozens of other rich characters. From the crammed and gritty streets of New York City to the bristling wilderness of the Old West, Hoagland’s characters pine, ache, observe, love, learn, and live in such precisely rendered stories that we are transported into each of their peculiar worlds.

Skyhorse Publishing, as well as our Arcade, Yucca, and Good Books imprints, are proud to publish a broad range of books for readers interested in fiction—novels, novellas, political and medical thrillers, comedy, satire, historical fiction, romance, erotic and love stories, mystery, classic literature, folklore and mythology, literary classics including Shakespeare, Dumas, Wilde, Cather, and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller or a national bestseller, we are committed to books on subjects that are sometimes overlooked and to authors whose work might not otherwise find a home.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Arcade (June 7, 2016)
  • Length: 240 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628726473

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Raves and Reviews

“A marvelous writer . . . generous, full of odd detail, very moving . . . to read two pages of Hoagland at random is to know immediately that you are in the hands of a supremely tough-minded man and a man of perfect honesty.” —Newsweek

“Descriptions that top anything of its kind in fiction.” —Time

“Edward Hoagland’s collected stories are dazzling. The characters are sometimes in the spotlight (not always; sometimes the light is very dim, indeed): fancy cowboys and competitive motorcycle racers—that light a harsh one, except for the modulations, the perfect pitch, the empathy and real-world awareness the writer puts on display. I’m not the most likely audience for stories about fighters and men on the run from bears, but you know what? The writer cornered me and dragged me into this glorious, furious, believable, yet incredible mess. I’m on the sidelines, totally involved, eating my heart out with admiration. Every story has its own intrinsic logic, every conclusion its understated and elegant power punch. Read this book, please.” —Ann Beattie

Praise for Children Are Diamonds:

“The ferocious lucidity of Hoagland’s language and the depth of his characters as they navigate political complexity, hellish violence, endless fear, persistent desire, and desperate calculations of survival make for a shattering tale of epic suffering, bitter irony, and miraculous flashes of beauty.” —Booklist

“A gritty, cinematic story wrapped in brilliant African detail, mesmerizing, from the unforgettable opening scene, on to the end. Quite simply, a masterpiece.” —Garrison Keillor

“Edward Hoagland has long been both a resolute explorer and a preternaturally versatile writer. He’s written more nonfiction than fiction, but what he brings to this terrifying novel—I mean, in addition to his humane vision and exquisite craft—is everything he has learned (as Graham Greene learned) from the world. The range and depth of Hoagland’s travel books, and of his many remarkable essays, are on display in this novel set in Africa, where killing and sexual brutality are juxtaposed with humanitarian care. Hoagland’s aid workers are damaged souls, but they haven’t quit. In a world of unbearable inhumanity, what comes across in this intrepid novel is the power of doing the right thing—even, or especially, in a moral outback.” —John Irving

“Children Are Diamonds is the latest addition to a remarkable collection of books about the war in southern Sudan that evokes the time and place with haunting imagery. Hoagland aptly captures the lives of Western do-gooders and opportunists lured by the adrenaline rush of Africa, evoking the closeness, and the randomness, of death in a war zone.” —The New York Times

“A marvelous writer . . . generous, full of odd detail, very moving . . . to read two pages of Hoagland at random is to know immediately that you are in the hands of a supremely tough-minded man and a man of perfect honesty.” —Newsweek

“Descriptions that top anything of its kind in fiction.” —Time

“Edward Hoagland’s collected stories are dazzling. The characters are sometimes in the spotlight (not always; sometimes the light is very dim, indeed): fancy cowboys and competitive motorcycle racers—that light a harsh one, except for the modulations, the perfect pitch, the empathy and real-world awareness the writer puts on display. I’m not the most likely audience for stories about fighters and men on the run from bears, but you know what? The writer cornered me and dragged me into this glorious, furious, believable, yet incredible mess. I’m on the sidelines, totally involved, eating my heart out with admiration. Every story has its own intrinsic logic, every conclusion its understated and elegant power punch. Read this book, please.” —Ann Beattie

Praise for Children Are Diamonds:

“The ferocious lucidity of Hoagland’s language and the depth of his characters as they navigate political complexity, hellish violence, endless fear, persistent desire, and desperate calculations of survival make for a shattering tale of epic suffering, bitter irony, and miraculous flashes of beauty.” —Booklist

“A gritty, cinematic story wrapped in brilliant African detail, mesmerizing, from the unforgettable opening scene, on to the end. Quite simply, a masterpiece.” —Garrison Keillor

“Edward Hoagland has long been both a resolute explorer and a preternaturally versatile writer. He’s written more nonfiction than fiction, but what he brings to this terrifying novel—I mean, in addition to his humane vision and exquisite craft—is everything he has learned (as Graham Greene learned) from the world. The range and depth of Hoagland’s travel books, and of his many remarkable essays, are on display in this novel set in Africa, where killing and sexual brutality are juxtaposed with humanitarian care. Hoagland’s aid workers are damaged souls, but they haven’t quit. In a world of unbearable inhumanity, what comes across in this intrepid novel is the power of doing the right thing—even, or especially, in a moral outback.” —John Irving

“Children Are Diamonds is the latest addition to a remarkable collection of books about the war in southern Sudan that evokes the time and place with haunting imagery. Hoagland aptly captures the lives of Western do-gooders and opportunists lured by the adrenaline rush of Africa, evoking the closeness, and the randomness, of death in a war zone.” —The New York Times

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