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A Congress of Wonders by Ed McClanahan

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Ed McClanahan was born in 1932 in Bracken County on the Ohio River in Eastern Kentucky. His undergraduate degree was from Miami University in Ohio, and he earned a masters from the University of Kentucky. His first teaching job was at the University of Oregon from 1958 until 1962 when he received a prestigious Stegner Fellowship to study at Stanford University. Standford kept him as a professor afterwards, followed by teaching assignments back at U.K. at the University of Montana, and Northern Kentucky University. He credits the fact that NKU did not put him on a tenure track  - perhaps due to his status as an icon of the counter-culture - with his decision to finish his first novel, The Natural Man (1983) which established his reputation as a fiction writer. He has lived in Lexington, Kentucky, ever since. This book, A Congress of Wonders, consists of three short novellas or three long short-stories depending on your perspective. Ed McClanahan's writing is fantastic, best listened to at a McClanahan reading where the juxtaposition of high-class and low-class turns of phrase is genuinely captivating. 

Washington, D.C.: Counterpoint, 1996. Trade paperback.