Edward Hoagland Biography
(1932– ), Cat Man, The Circle Home, Seven Rivers West, The Courage of Turtles
American writer, born in New York, educated at Harvard University. He has taught at several universities including Iowa and California, Davis. His first novel, Cat Man (1956), about life in the circus, was followed by others, often focusing on the struggles faced by society's outcasts. Characters whose occupations require physical strength recur in his fiction, including The Circle Home (1960), which concerns the world of boxing and a prize-fighter's failure to become a champion or to make a success of his marriage. Seven Rivers West (1986) is set in Canada during the late nineteenth century when white settlers were building the rail-road in hitherto Indian territory; interwoven with descriptions of the feelings of the indigenous people and the struggles faced by the settlers are vivid evocations of the wild landscapes of the Canadian west. Hoagland is also a leading essay writer, his subjects ranging from city and country life to the natural world and ecology; his collections include The Courage of Turtles (1971), Heart's Desire: The Best of Edward Hoagland (1990), and Balancing Acts: Essays (1992). His travel books include the highly acclaimed African Calliope: A Journey to the Sudan (1979). Hoagland's compelling observations on life and his powerful narrative voice have won much critical praise.