The Essay: A Novel (Paperback)

The Essay: A Novel By Robin Yocum Cover Image
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Description


"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.

About the Author


An award-winning former crime reporter with the Columbus Dispatch, Robin Yocum has published two true crime books and five critically acclaimed novels. A Brilliant Death was a finalist for both the 2017 Edgar and the Silver Falchion for best adult mystery. Favorite Sons was named the 2011 Book of the Year for Mystery/Suspense by USA Book News. His short story, The Last Hit, was selected for Best American Mystery Stories 2020. He grew up in the Ohio River village of Brilliant and is a graduate of Bowling Green State University, where he received a degree in journalism, which kept him out of the steel mills and prevented an untimely and fiery death. 

Praise For…


“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,