Have you ever loved a book or a movie so much, you’ve insisted that a good friend borrow it, hoping they’ll love it as much as you do? Back in the early 80’s I read a book called The Dogs of March. Although the original copy I had was loaned out and never returned, I’ve since bought two or three copies so I could give it away and always be able to read it again any time I had the urge. I’ve probably read this book a half dozen times. It’s an old friend.
Ernest Hebert teaches writing at
Reviewers have noted that in Darby, Ernest Hebert has created
“While Howard watched the Cutter house over the sights of a rifle, Zoe Cutter watched the Elman house through her new sliding glass doors.
Elman was firing his gun. She couldn’t see him, but the shots rang out clear and horrible, like the sound frogs make when you run over them on an August night. She imagined him crouched in the snow for his gunnery practice, the hulks of appliances and automobiles in his yard for targets, grim and angular under their caps of snow. Elman, she decided, was one of those male animals that ought to be castrated for its own good and for the good of other creatures. Cats that dragged themselves home half dead after meaningless territorial encounters; pigs that ate the young they had sired; men who murdered animals in drooling ecstasy – all manifestations of the male ego, that small-dictator part of the brain that was wired directly to the genitals.”
Hebert was probably the first, and may remain the only author to masterfully, elegantly and genuinely write about
I have a special place in my heart for the Darby series. I was born and raised primarily in and around
Ernest Hebert’s website is a wealth of fascinating insight into his writing process and tells the story of how he came to be a fiction writer. One of my favorite pieces is an essay called “How John Gardner Kicked My Ass and Saved My Soul”.
Hebert has been honored with numerous writing awards. United Press International honored him with three journalism awards when he was a reporter for The Keene Sentinel in
Ernest Hebert is not as widely known as some authors, but he is one of my favorites and may turn out to be one of the best writers you’ve never heard of.