The Essay

A Novel

LIST PRICE £10.99

About The Book

"Like Annie Proulx, Richard Russo, and Richard Ford, Robin Yocum knows how to stake out a claim to a very particular part of America and make it uniquely his own…. A book that young adults and veteran readers alike are going to love."--Howard Frank Mosher

Jimmy Lee Hickam, with the help of some and to the consternation of others, fights to create a new destiny and future for himself. Jimmy Lee grew up in the poorest part of Appalachian Ohio with a family history of trouble. His family has been in the same Appalachian hills for generations, and they included moonshiners, drunkards, and thieves. Jimmy Lee is convinced that he will be the same until a coach and a teacher take a chance on him.

Jimmy Lee’s ability to play football, and a coach who believed in him, kept him in school his junior year. Jimmy Lee’s English teacher takes a chance on him and saves his eligibility for the upcoming football season. That faith results in a fabulous essay that few believe Jimmy Lee wrote.

This is a story of finding a door outside of one’s current situation and a way to transcend the times and judgments of others. It is a celebration of students who surprise themselves and the adults who believe in them.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Arcade (October 25, 2016)
  • Length: 256 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781628727173

Raves and Reviews

“A heart-rending tale . . . with deep insights. The writing is plain and unadorned, and completely in tune with the people and place. Highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

"Like Annie Proulx, Richard Russo, and Richard Ford, Robin Yocum knows how to stake out a claim to a very particular part of America and make it uniquely his own. In Yocum's poignant and hard-hitting new novel, THE ESSAY, he explores, with great insight and craftsmanship, the coal mines and out-of-the-way farms and rivers and Friday night football games of southeastern Ohio. Jimmy Lee Hickam may come from a family of outlaws, but he's my latest literary hero. THE ESSAY is a book that young adults and veteran readers alike are going to love."--Howard Frank Mosher

“After reading The Essay, a tough but compassionate story about a poor teenager in southern Ohio who struggles to make good despite his harsh upbringing, I am convinced that Robin Yocum is one of the most talented and graceful writers working in America today. And I mean it when I say that I love this book.”
--Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff

In The Essay, Robin Yocum explores just how far we can pull at the ties that tether us to our lives. Can we ever overcome circumstance and family history to chart our own destiny? Inspiring, compelling, and filled with characters I came to care deeply about, this is one story I couldn't put down. -- Carla Buckley, award-nominated author of The Things That Keep Us HereIn The Essay, Robin Yocum explores just how far we can pull at the ties that tether us to our lives. Can we ever overcome circumstance and family history to chart our own destiny? Inspiring, compelling, and filled with characters I came to care deeply about, this is one story I couldn't put down.
-- Carla Buckley, author of The Things That Keep Us Here

“Yocum writes like the reporter he used to be. He’s observant and still has his eye for detail and nuance.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

“A heart-rending tale . . . with deep insights. The writing is plain and unadorned, and completely in tune with the people and place. Highly recommended.” —Midwest Book Review

"Like Annie Proulx, Richard Russo, and Richard Ford, Robin Yocum knows how to stake out a claim to a very particular part of America and make it uniquely his own. In Yocum's poignant and hard-hitting new novel, THE ESSAY, he explores, with great insight and craftsmanship, the coal mines and out-of-the-way farms and rivers and Friday night football games of southeastern Ohio. Jimmy Lee Hickam may come from a family of outlaws, but he's my latest literary hero. THE ESSAY is a book that young adults and veteran readers alike are going to love."--Howard Frank Mosher

“After reading The Essay, a tough but compassionate story about a poor teenager in southern Ohio who struggles to make good despite his harsh upbringing, I am convinced that Robin Yocum is one of the most talented and graceful writers working in America today. And I mean it when I say that I love this book.”
--Donald Ray Pollock, author of The Devil All the Time and Knockemstiff

In The Essay, Robin Yocum explores just how far we can pull at the ties that tether us to our lives. Can we ever overcome circumstance and family history to chart our own destiny? Inspiring, compelling, and filled with characters I came to care deeply about, this is one story I couldn't put down. -- Carla Buckley, award-nominated author of The Things That Keep Us HereIn The Essay, Robin Yocum explores just how far we can pull at the ties that tether us to our lives. Can we ever overcome circumstance and family history to chart our own destiny? Inspiring, compelling, and filled with characters I came to care deeply about, this is one story I couldn't put down.
-- Carla Buckley, author of The Things That Keep Us Here

“Yocum writes like the reporter he used to be. He’s observant and still has his eye for detail and nuance.”—Richmond Times-Dispatch

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