Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany

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Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany

Escape Velocity.jpg

Cover Illustration by Mike Reddy
Author Charles Portis
Cover artist Mike Reddy
Country United States
Language English
Genre Miscellany
Publisher Butler Center Books
Publication date
Media type Print (hardcover) (paperback)
Pages 378
ISBN 978-1468307399
Preceded byGringos (1991)

Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany is a collection of non-fiction, journalism, short stories, and single play - Delray's New Moon - by the novelist Charles Portis, the author most famous for True Grit . Subjects covered by Portis include the civil rights movement, a road trip in Baja, and Elvis Presley's visit to his aging mother. Some of the works originally appeared in such publications such as the New York Herald Tribune and Saturday Evening Post. [1] [2]

Charles McColl Portis is an American author best known for his novels Norwood (1966) and the classic Western True Grit (1968), both adapted as films. The latter also inspired a film sequel and a made-for-TV movie sequel. A newer film adaptation of True Grit was released in 2010.

<i>True Grit</i> (novel) novel by Charles Portis

True Grit is a 1968 novel by Charles Portis that was first published as a 1968 serial in The Saturday Evening Post. The novel is told from the perspective of a woman named Mattie Ross, who recounts the time when she was 14 and sought retribution for the murder of her father by a scoundrel, Tom Chaney. It is considered by some critics to be "one of the great American novels."

Elvis Presley American singer and actor

Elvis Aaron Presley was an American singer and actor. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King".


At the time of its first publication in 2012, it was the first work by Portis in twenty-one years since Gringos .

<i>Gringos</i> (novel) 1991 book by Charles Portis

Gringos is a 1991 book by Charles Portis and the author's fifth novel. It follows Jimmy Burns, an expatriate American, who during his adventures in Mexico encounters a female stalker, tomb-robbing archaeologists, UFO hunters, and a group of hippies.

The book also has an epilogue consisting an interview with Charles Portis by Roy Reed; and five appendix tributes to the author by Roy Blount Jr, Ed Park, Ron Rosenbaum, Donna Tartt and Wells Tower. [3]

Ronald "Ron" Rosenbaum is an American literary journalist, literary critic, and novelist.

Donna Tartt is an American writer, the author of the novels The Secret History (1992), The Little Friend (2002), and The Goldfinch (2013). Tartt won the WH Smith Literary Award for The Little Friend in 2003 and the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The Goldfinch in 2014. She was included in Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People" list, compiled in 2014.

Wells Tower is an American writer of short stories and non-fiction. In 2009 he published his first short story collection, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned to much critical acclaim. His short fiction has also been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, McSweeney's, Vice, Harper's Magazine, A Public Space, Fence and other periodicals.

In the New York Times review of the book, Carlo Rotella said, "You can enjoy Escape Velocity as a stand-alone collection, but a Portis miscellany will always be read too as a key to the experiences and craft lessons that shaped the novels." [4]


Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany was edited by Jay Jennings. [5]

Jay Jennings American filmmaker

Jay Robert Jennings is an American independent filmmaker and author. He has directed two feature films, Loanshark (1999) and Hell to Pay (2014), as well as, an assortment of short films and documentaries. Jennings uses handheld cameras and cinéma vérité techniques, shooting his films among old Hollywood buildings and streets.

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A miscellany is a collection of various pieces of writing by different authors. Meaning a mixture, medley, or assortment, a miscellany can include pieces on many subjects and in a variety of different forms. In contrast to anthologies, whose aim is to give a selective and canonical view of literature, miscellanies were produced for the entertainment of a contemporary audience and so instead emphasise collectiveness and popularity. Laura Mandell and Rita Raley state:

This last distinction is quite often visible in the basic categorical differences between anthologies on the one hand, and all other types of collections on the other, for it is in the one that we read poems of excellence, the "best of English poetry," and it is in the other that we read poems of interest. Out of the differences between a principle of selection and a principle of collection, then, comes a difference in aesthetic value, which is precisely what is at issue in the debates over the "proper" material for inclusion into the canon.

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