Escape Velocity is a long overdue book of miscellany from the Arkansas legend and author of the enormously famous True Grit, culled from his newswriting days, covering Civil Rights events as well as reviewing for top-name magazines of the period. Portis is ceaselessly witty, telling, and, above all, real to his subjects. Check out his fantastic essay on the Nashville music scene of the 1960s, which feels akin to Robert Altman's classic film. With several pages of prose, this volume also shows Portis's range by presenting a play which he wrote in the last few decades, which showcases his true talent in creating the subtly funny dialogue of his characters. ––Recommended by Jackson, City Lights Books
Though Charles Portis is best known for his fiction writing, he is also a prolific essayist, travel writer, and newspaper reporter. Collected here in Escape Velocity, edited by Jay Jennings, is his "miscellany"––journalism, short fiction, memoir, and even the play Delray's New Moon, published for the first time in this volume. Portis covers topics as varied as the civil rights movement, road tripping in Baja, and Elvis' s visits to his aging mother for publications such as the New York Herald Tribune and Saturday Evening Post. Fans of Portis's droll Southern humor and quirky characters will be thrilled at this new addition to his library, and those not yet familiar with his work will find a great introduction to him here. Also included are tributes by accomplished authors including Donna Tartt and Ron Rosenbaum.