April 18, 2023
Jim Hoy will be at Newton Public Library, 7 p.m. April 18, to give a talk about his new book, "Gathering Strays: Stories from Kansas and the Southwestern Plains."
About the Book:
Like rounding up stray cattle in a rolling pasture, Jim Hoy has gathered over a hundred stray stories, tales without a single theme or unified narrative, and corralled them up here for the very first time. Hoy’s vignettes teach, excite, charm, and instill a deep pride in anyone fortunate enough to have lived on the Great Plains.
In "Gathering Strays," Hoy gives us a collection of stories about Kansas, the Great Plains, and Western life that reflect his life-long love of the land, experience, and history of the region. Hoy introduces us to folks like Elmer McCurdy, a failed train robber whose arsenic-embalmed body went on tour and made money for the undertaker, and Ame Cole, who scolded Russian Grand Duke Alexis on his table manners. Writing as an easygoing storyteller, Hoy covers familiar areas like rodeos and cattle drives, takes us from Dodge City to Beer City and everywhere in between, explains why Kansas has the best state song in the nation, and expands our picture of cowboys with stories of Australian drovers, Black cowboys, and Mexican vaqueros.
About the Author:
Jim Hoy is professor emeritus of English, Emporia State University, and director emeritus of the Center for Great Plains Studies. Among his many books are "My Flint Hills: Observations and Reminiscences from America’s Last Tallgrass Prairie," "Flint Hills Cowboys: Tales from the Tallgrass Prairie," both from Kansas, and, with Tom Isern, "Plains Folk: A Commonplace of the Great Plains."