One by One, the Stars

Essays

Ned Stuckey-French

Preface by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Foreword by John Price

One by One, the Stars

Essays

Ned Stuckey-French

Preface by Elizabeth Stuckey-French

Foreword by John Price

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  • Description
  • Reviews

A tireless and discerning advocate for contemporary practitioners of creative nonfiction, Ned Stuckey-French was at the center of every national discussion about the genre. He greatly contributed to our scholarly understanding of the history of the essay and was working on his fi rst essay collection when he died of cancer in 2019.

That collection, One by One, the Stars, presents new, highly personal essays tracing Stuckey-French's childhood in Indiana and a burgeoning interest, during adolescence, in politics and social justice to his life as a father, teacher, and writer. Thematic threads connect these elements, and foremost is his growing commitment to activism on behalf of the disadvantaged, overlooked, or threatened. The volume also features some of Stuckey-French's "greatest hits" as a public scholar and writer, including "Don't Be Cruel: An Argument for Elvis," "Our Queer Little Hybrid Thing: Toward a Definition of the Essay," and his popular essay on his Facebook addiction-for which he was widely known.

Along the way, his stories and reflections off er fascinating and timely insights into family dynamics, history, politics, ecology, social justice, and literature. All of it is infused with Ned Stuckey-French's guiding spirit, full of curiosity, compassion, and conviction.

From memories of early childhood, parental divorce, and work at Mass General to wise and witty reflections on essays and essayists, Ned Stuckey-French's compelling posthumous collection encompasses his wide-ranging and richly informed thoughts on some of the most significant cultural and political issues of his time. The striking breadth of his interests-including pieces on such notable public figures as Jon Gnagy, Bobby Kennedy, and Elvis-demonstrates the striking breadth of the essay itself. A masterful performance from start to finish.

—Carl H. Klaus, author of The Ninth Decade: An Octogenarian’s Chronicle

I am grateful to have these last thoughtful ruminations of a significant figure in literary nonfiction, which offer both theory and practice, and which unite the two parts of Stuckey-French's personality: the sensitive, often conscience-ridden, lonely individual and the serene teacher and sage.

—Phillip Lopate, author of The Glorious American Essay: One Hundred Essays from Colonial Times to the Present

Witty, rigorous, pitch-perfect, logical, and wise, these essays are classical in form but never in content. All the various ways we enact our rituals and pro forma social exchanges are under scrutiny as Ned Stuckey-French makes the airtight case we can do better and be better. These essays are quietly and elegantly revolutionary because in them familiar form contains the possibility of reform.

—Debra Monroe, author of My Unsentimental Education and On the Outskirts of Normal

About the Author/Editor

NED STUCKEY-FRENCH was Professor of English at Florida State University and book review editor of Fourth Genre. He is the author of The American Essay in the American Century (Missouri), co-editor of Essayists on the Essay: Montaigne to Our Time (Iowa), and co-author of Writing Fiction: A Guide to Narrative Craft (Longman, 8th edition). His articles and essays appeared in journals and magazines such as In These Times, The Missouri Review, The Iowa Review, Walking Magazine, culturefront, Pinch, Guernica, middlebrow, and American Literature, and have been listed five times among the notable essays of the year in Best American Essays. He received the 2020 Stand UP Award from the Association of University Presses for his advocacy.