Good News!

If given my many hints and more it IS news. I have just signed a contract for, not one, but two books with Globe Pequot Press!

The first, The Eagle’s Shadow, is virtually done: a natural and cultural history of All Things Eagle, with over 100 already- acquired illos from petroglyphs and shamanistic religious objects to Kazakh stamps and advertising art; even a harrowing shot (in both senses of the word) of an eagle about to meet its doom in 50’s Texas, taken over a shotgun, out the window of a diving Piper Cub. Evolution, religion, art, anthropology; enmity, amity, falconry; persecution and conservation.

The second is a “Sporting Library” a very opinionated — that is, MY opinion– bunch of wonderful reads on hunting and fishing, broadly defined, that I am in the process of putting together now. I could quote from the proposal but a recent letter of mine to a writer who is in it may be more succinct.

“As you said it will be a challenge to come up with around 100 best sporting themed books and authors, but I am neither limiting myself to literature per se nor God help us just traditional “hook and bullet”sources. I want science and art and history. Tom McGuane and Jim Harrison and Joe Hutto and maybe even Brautigan will be in it, sure. But I also plan books on paleolithic cave paitings, poetry about fish, stuff from Russia (Arseniev, Prishvin, Turgenev of course). The translation of Emperor Frederic II’s book on falconry, and Cambridge poet Helen Macdonald’s modern one, and The Goshawk (and more TH White). Out of Africa, Elspeth Huxley, Man Eaters of Tsavo. Caroline Gordon’s novel and bird hunting stories about Aleck Maury, which McGuane loves, and Cross Creek. William Beebe’s Pheasant Jungles. Geoffrey Household’s literate thrillers with hunting themes. Bob Jones’ fierce surreal Blood Sport, and Kerasote’s gentle Blood Ties, and Blood Knot (English; one of last year’s best books period, with some fish). William Humphrey’s My Moby Dick about a trout, and Gavin Maxwell on harpooning sharks. Norman MacLean and Roderick Haig Brown. Brian Plummer’s Rat Hunting Man, and Caroline Blackwood’s fox- hunting women.”

There is a lot out there and I am already having fun. Suggestions enthusiastically encouraged, as is forwarding to friends!


  1. Good News – recognition at last for a Literary Polymath !

    Take a celebratory beer in the Spur , thinking of me, thinking of you , in my local "Barrel" Eccentric English Pub in about 15 mins time !!



  2. Fantastic news — congratulations! Both books sound really interesting, and I'm not even a bird or hunting nut — uh, I mean, enthusiast… 🙂

  3. Congratulations on the book deal. As for Household, I am now well supplied, having returned this afternoon from Pueblo with Sabers on the Sand, the only book of his in the CSU-Pueblo library, and The Sending and Summoning the Bright Water through interlibrary loan. Reports in due course.

  4. Congratulations! While not a typical "blood in the sand, death in the woods" writer, but for historical content, John McPhee comes to mind with a handful of memorable nature books-The Founding Fish, Coming into the County…

  5. Congratulations! Excellent news!

    More for the long list: the Boxing Day Meet in T.H. White's The Sword in the Stone. You know it — the boar hunt on Boxing Day, the mixed pack of hounds, the boar "black, flaming and bloody," the huntsman William Twyti, "Hark to Beaumont the valiant!" — such great storytelling.

    [Obligatory Vicki Hearne link here.]

    Congrats again!

  6. How about McCarthy's The Crossing? Remember when T. McDonnell excerpted the wolf trapping sequence in Sports Afield? God that mag was great when he ran it…

    Both books sound terrific, Steve, and it's wonderful to read so many recent blog posts as well. Thanks for all you do.

    Malcolm Brooks

  7. Great news Steve! Congratulations. Is that one of your illustrations? Are you still drawing as well? We look forward to them…

    Judi (Bodio) Caringola

  8. Thanks Judi!

    The illo is by Russian artist Vadim Gorbatov, who contributed several to the eagle book. We have hosted him here and have a lot of his stuff. Type "Gorbatov" into the search box at the top for more– then scroll down to "ranch" for a particularly amusing one.

    I don't draw "seriously"– and I suspect my Parkinson's, which mostly affects fine motor control, doesn't help!

  9. A little late but congratulations on the book deal.

    I just bought and read "your "ON The Edge Of the Wild" and enjoyed it very much

    I too have to be around animals and since I was a very young child and felt an affinity with all life.
    I feel a closer bond to predators mainly I guess because I am one.

    The best respect we can give the animals we kill as you stated in one of your essays is to respect them in the kitchen. Hunting and fishing is for me largely about eating.
    I am looking forward to reading the rest of your books

    I like to travel though the country rather than just on it



  10. Gosh, as to how to narrow best hunting stories down to just 100? Seems like you'll need to write several books–best fictional hunting stories, best true hunting stories, best dog hunting stories, and on and on–a whole potential series!!!!….L.B.

  11. Good to hear from you, Lane– been just crazy busy.

    A flat 100 is of course impossible. But email when you get a minute– suggestions appreciated despite impossibility of ONE hundred!

  12. Sooo excited to read both books. my only thoughts to the list would be 'tales of a rat hunting man' and the first part of 'after london' Congratulations! c. markle

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