Summary of The Devil's Fingers & Other Personal Essays
The more than two dozen personal essays in this new collection by one of Texas’s master storytellers range from travel pieces about Havana and London to stories about small-town exotics that are funny, nervy, outlandish, and all characterized by James Hoggard’s sly wit and his noted openness to people he meets along the way. Fast-paced, yet at the same time reflective, Hoggard guides his readers into some of the wonderfully strange turns of the world, including a Saturday morning gathering of khaki-dressed men who have hunkered down at a Dairy Queen to get away from their women who want them to spend the day doing chores. At the same time they see Hoggard as a bicycle-riding exotic who finds it normal to go out and bike 60-odd miles before lunch. Now and then the encounters are hair-raising, sometimes scary, but Hoggard always provides the kind of interior monologues that draw upon both deep reading and deep observation.