In a Massachusetts town, a school shooting is barely averted by a teacher’s courage and caring. In a big-city hospital, a desperately sick infant becomes a pawn between powerful forces in a high-tech medical war. In central Maine, the state’s poorest city turns against itself under the crush of an immigrant surge. In New Hampshire’s ski country, a young wife copes with the devastation of a suddenly quadriplegic husband. In Vermont, a reporter’s one-man crusade against hate will earn him a Pulitzer Prize. There are more stories like these—seventeen in all—in Geoffrey Douglas’s newest book, The Grifter, The Poet, and The Runaway Train: Stories From a Yankee Writer’s Notebook, a collection of his pieces in Yankee Magazine, written over the past twenty years. All of them, by subject and by design, are stories for today.
Geoffrey Douglas is the author of four previous nonfiction books, each of them widely reviewed. A former Bread Loaf fellow, National Magazine Award finalist and adjunct professor of writing at the University of Massachusetts/Lowell, Douglas has been a Yankee contributor since the late 1990s. Many of the stories here were jointly conceived with long-time Yankee editor Mel Allen—a partnership the two will discuss further in a series of joint appearances.