Circle Way by Mary Ann Hogan

Circle Way

A Writer’s Memoir of Coming Home

In this visually rich, multigenerational literary memoir, Mary Ann Hogan reflects on a life of letters and her relationship to her late father, former book critic at the San Francisco Chronicle, and the mysteries surrounding her prominent California forebears.

Published by Wonderwell
Release Date: February 15, 2022
Available in hardcover and ebook
152 pages
$41.00 CAD / $29.99 USD

A bittersweet memoir of a father, daughter, and an extraordinary California family

Written in an evocative, expressionistic style, this work of creative nonfiction flutters somewhere between journalism and poetry. At the heart of the story, journalist Mary Ann Hogan reflects on her life of letters, a calling she shared with her father, Bill, a notable book critic whom John Steinbeck dubbed “an old and valued friend.”

As Mary Ann sifts through Bill’s notebooks and drawings after his death, she discovers a man whose unrealized dreams echo some of her own. Eager to learn more about her family as she wrestles with terminal illness, Mary Ann explores the fascinating cast of characters who were her forebears. We meet the author’s great grandfather, a lumber baron who built much of Oakland before losing his fortune in the crash of ’29, and a great uncle who served at San Quentin for a murder he may not have committed. Richly illustrated with artful drawings, letters from literary luminaries such as Jack Kerouac and Kurt Vonnegut, and gripping newspaper headlines, this poignant and absorbing tale is an immersive feast for anyone interested in literature, history, and the often-mysterious facets of family.

Madeleine Shaw

Mary Ann Hogan

The late Mary Ann Hogan was an award-winning journalist and teacher whose credits included The New York Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, and Mother Jones magazine. She specialized in personal essays, and for six years was syndicated nationally by the Los Angeles Times. She was the primary writer of the book Crusaders, Scoundrels, Journalists: The Newseum’s Most Intriguing Newspeople. She coached the Chips Quinn Scholars, the nation’s premier training program for college-aged journalists of color. She was a coach at the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, helping train journalists who went on to win the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service. She lectured on writing through the American Press Institute and the Poynter Institute for Media Studies.

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