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The Patron Saint of Dreams

Philip Gerard

Hub City Press
978-1-891885-89-1
$17.95 paperback
5½ x 8½           
200 pages
March 2012

Meet the characters of essayist Philip Gerard’s world: a misguided sailor and his crew of rowdy teenage boys, an ancient nun, a nurse who believes the government has been secretly spreading bubonic plague, a park ranger, jaded baseball players, a voice on a VHF radio far out to sea, a family of itinerant Mexicans camping dangerously in a dry riverbed, a famous alcoholic writer, a few inexplicable ghosts. Gerard’s true stories are shot through with the uncanny and the mysterious. They are not quiet interior contemplations but instead are full of public events, remarkable encounters, and life-and-death moments that reveal and deepen the mysteries of our lives.

The Patron Saint of Dreams is a collection of 15 narrative essays that collectively address events in the world through the lens of personal experience, moments when seemingly small decisions have large consequences: enduring the terror of a direct hit by a hurricane, hiking through bear country and suffering a heart attack, hearing a disturbing secret from an old sailor who has kept it for 60 years, discovering an imposter who maintains his dual life long after death. Told by one of the South’s most acclaimed and masterful nonfiction writers, these are the stories we live, and the lovely and terrible people who live them with us.

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Praise:

“Every time you let your guard down, he stuns you with a hard shot. Luminous.” —Luis Alberto Urrea, author of The Devil’s Highway and The Hummingbird’s Daughter