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The Place of the Yellow Woodpecker

The Place of the Yellow Woodpecker

by Hugh Fox

The Place of the Yellow Woodpecker is the University of Florianopolis in Santa Catarina, Brazil in the late 1970s and early 1980s, during the time of military rule. The writing is of the earth, reaching down into the culture, the poverty and hardship, and bridging to the outside, especially the US as a haven for escape -- not to freedom, but to the home of a worshipped overlord of wealth and power, to be closer to that demigod and to share in the prosperity.

Fox never shies away from showing the reader his true face, his sexuality, his peevish academic soul and his mystical yearning for oneness with the earth. It is a personal record of a place and time that is lost in the modern economic juggernaut which Brazil becomes in the present, while showing some origins of the lingering self-loathing and self-doubt.

Michael Hemmingson on Shaman: "This is a journey novel, as we follow the narrator, a writer/professor/small press publisher, across the country over several years as he explores the interior and exterior frontiers of his sexuality...as we get further into the novel, we stop and wonder: where have I read/felt this same kind of insane, intense energy? Kerouac, of course…Shaman being [Fox’s] personal On the Road…"

Hugh Fox is an icon in the small press literary community. Any new work by Fox is eagerly anticipated by his devotees around the world. This latest book, like those before it, won’t disappoint. In it, the many dimensions of peace are layered like rich baklava, sweet and crispy, thick and chewy…No matter what our station, these translations in English, French and Spanish reach out to us all with the accumulated wisdom and compassion of Fox’s life experience.
—Laurel Johnson, New Works Review and Midwest Book Review

Like Charles Ives, like Herman Melville, Hugh Fox is an American original. There is no one else writing like him today
—Richard Morris, author of Achilles in the Quantum Universe: the Definitive History of Infinity and The Evolutionists: The Struggle for Darwin's Soul

Half a century ago Hugh Fox exited a motel room, struggling under the combined weight of a “total change in the way he saw the world” plus three suitcases. That room was occupied by Charles Bukowski, and those suitcases were loaded with his works. Today Hugh Fox is our Chuck-Buk. He has laid upon us a hundred books and a new world view. It’s up to us to see if we can run this relay race as beautifully as he has.
—Tom Bradley, Put It Down in a Book

Read this review by Steve Glines

About the Author

Hugh Fox is an icon of twentieth century American literature. Born in 1932, he immersed himself in music and art at an early age, encouraged by his parents, a violinist-turned-M.D. and a frustrated actress. Three years of pre-med led to a B.S. in Humanities and an M.A. in English from Loyola University in Chicago. After traveling in Europe, Fox earned a Ph.D. in American Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, then became a professor of American Literature in Los Angeles. Later he moved to the Department of American Thought and Language at Michigan State University, where he is an emeritus professor. Fox has traveled and taught extensively in Latin America and lectured in Spain and Portugal. Charles Bukowski's first critical biographer, his own poems are legion and legendary, as is his fiction. His novel Shaman has been ranked with On the Road. In addition, Fox is well known as an editor of avant-garde literary magazines. According to Poets' Encyclopedia, "Hugh Fox has eighty-five books published, and another thirty (mainly novels, plays and one archaeology book) still on the shelves." He currently lives with his Brazilian-born wife in Lansing, Michigan, and is writing.

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