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Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: Notes toward a Memoir

What others are saying:

For forty years now, I’ve followed Ron Hansen’s writings, wherever he has chosen to lead. Whether it’s the Dalton Gang or Billy the Kid or Jesse James or a murder in Queens or a stigmatic in a convent in upstate New York, or a young Hopkins, an exile himself, writing of the death of five Franciscan nuns who perished off the coast of England, all events dating back a century and more and each vividly and convincingly portrayed in the alembic of their own particular historical moment, or whether he’s writing about his home state of Nebraska or hitting golf balls into a howling wind or in hundred degree weather, he manages to hold the attention of his readers, mesmerizing them with his magical prose that rises again and again to the realm of the poetic. So, here, in his aptly named Hotly in Pursuit of the Real, he shows us in these incandescent, often comic and self-effacing notes toward a memoir, that he is a writer’s writer in whom we can delight and from whom we can all learn.”  

—Paul Mariani, author of Ordinary Time (Slant, 2020)

From his first haunting story collection, Nebraska, to his astonishing novel Mariette in Ecstasy, to his absolutely riveting A Wild Surge of Guilty Passion, Ron Hansen has never failed to transport me somewhere I didn’t even know existed, much less wanted to go.  Thanks to this lovely new book from Slant, I can finally put into words what his erudite intelligence, wide-ranging spiritual imagination, and gorgeous prose have meant to me. He says this of his mentor: “In John Updike, I found the exact writer I wanted to be.” Ditto for Ron Hansen in my own writing life.

—Paula Huston, author of One Ordinary Sunday (2016)

Hotly in Pursuit of the Real: Notes toward a Memoir by Ron Hansen

Available now for pre-order! Releases January 15, 2020