Tag Archives: Midwestern History

Prairie Lights Bookstore Hosts Reading of Wish You Were Here

PL Logo copyIconic Midwest bookstore Prairie Lights hosts Zachary Michael Jack and his latest nonfiction book Wish You Here Here: Loving and Longing in an American Heartland as part of their long-running Live from Prairie Lights broadcast reading series in partnership with the University of Iowa digital archives.

Jack’s Croy Collection Picked By Foreword Reviews

Zachary Michael Jack’s collection of the best Middle American work of Homer Croy reintroduces readers to the underappreciated yet best-selling literary journalist, nonfictionist, and memoirist.

Sample reviews and endorsements of Homer Croy Corn Country:

“Homer Croy was a blue-ribbon humorist, and Corn Country is a funny and engaging collection of his best work.” –Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winner

“The corn reads great, now that Homer Croy is back in print!” –Timothy Walch, Director, Herbert Hoover Presidential Library & trustee of the State Historical Society of Iowa

“This inviting collection brings back into the spotlight one of the best humorists of the American Midwest with an appeal, like that of regional humorist Garrison Keillor, that stretches far beyond the Corn Belt.” –Foreword Magazine

“These pieces reveal Croy s core sensibility, his wild wit tempered by warmth of feeling… They confirm Croy as an important American and Midwestern literary figure.” –C. D. Albin, Southwest Missouri State University


One part Mark Twain, and two parts Garrison Keillor, prize-winning humorist and essayist Homer Croy was a man of many distinctions: The first student of the first school of journalism in the United States, the first person to tour the world shooting motion pictures, and the first author of his day to write a best-selling novel that happened to be anonymous. Dale Carnegie dedicated his opus “How to Win Friends and Influence People” to him; Will Rogers, for whom Croy wrote more films than any other, made him honored guest at his Thanksgiving table. In between his pioneering studies in journalism at the University of Missouri and his mid-life, Missouri farm memoirs that sold in the hundreds of thousands, Croy flunked out of college, moved to the Big Apple, filmed his way around the world, tied the knot in the first marriage ever captured on a Universal newsreel, worked for Theodore Dreiser, earned a fortune, moved to Paris, tragically lost two children, wrote for Hollywood, earned an honorary doctorate, and, in the end, lost his fortune all while maintaining the down-home humor and heart that earned him a reputation among peers as the towering cornstalk of midcentury, midwestern memoir.