Uncategorized | April 16, 2004

I was browsing my bookshelf the other day and decided to revisit River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze, a gift from a friend a while back. I really enjoyed the book, the writing of a Peace Corps volunteer teaching English and American literature at a local college in the remote town of Fuling, China. I remember my surprise reading that the author, Peter Hessler, was raised in Columbia, Missouri. This led me to think of other authors from Missouri who went on to become famous. I know there are quite a few, but some of the giants that came to mind were Mark Twain whose hometown was Hannibal and poet Langston Hughes from the small town of Joplin. T.S. Eliot, Kate Chopin and Maya Angelou also hailed from the “show me” state. I like to think of their more humble beginnings when thinking of their later fame. I’ve heard from some who had the pleasure of knowing Hessler personally that he’s a really nice, down-to-earth guy — that’s good to know.