Paper Trails: True Stories of Confusion, Mindless Violence, and Forbidden Desires, a Surprising Number of Which Are Not About Marriage

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HarperCollins, Feb 6, 2007 - Literary Collections - 320 pages
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In the 1970s and 1980s, before he earned national acclaim for his award-winning novels, Pete Dexter was a newspaper columnist. Every week, in a few hundred words, Dexter cut directly to the heart of the American character at a time of national turmoil and crucial change. With haunting urgency, his columns laid bare the violence, hypocrisy, and desperation he saw on the streets of Philadelphia and in the places he visited across the country. But he reveled, too, in the lighter side of his own life, sharing scenes with the indefatigable Mrs. Dexter, their young daughter, and a series of unforgettable creatures who strayed into their lives. No matter what caught Dexter's eye, it was illuminated by his dark, brilliant humor.

Collected here for the first time are eighty-two of the best of those spellbinding, finely wrought pieces—with a new introduction by the author—assembled by Rob Fleder, editor of the bestselling Sports Illustrated 50th Anniversary Book. Paper Trails is searing, heart-breaking, and irresistibly funny, sometimes all at once. As Pete Hamill says in his foreword, these essays "are as good as it ever gets."

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User Review  - earthwind - LibraryThing

Years of fascinating introspective, humor, facts developed into engrossing stories about cities, the people who reside there, crime, home-life, animals who share our lives and so much compassion and depth. One sits in awe. Read full review

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User Review  - satyridae - LibraryThing

Tough. Terse. Decidedly macho. Also very engaging and well-written. I was surprised at how much I liked the content, despite my preconceived notions about how I dislike this style of writing. So I was wrong. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Pete Dexter is the author of the National Book Award-winning novel Paris Trout and five other novels: God's Pocket, Deadwood, Brotherly Love, The Paperboy, and Train. He has been a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and the Sacramento Bee, and has contributed to many magazines, including Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Playboy. His screenplays include Rush and Mulholland Falls. Dexter was born in Michigan and raised in Georgia, Illinois, and eastern South Dakota. He lives on an island off the coast of Washington.

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