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Loyola Press is publishing a new Jon Hassler book in August 2001!

Good People...from an Author's Life

The following information is from Loyola's press release about Jon's book.

In a departure from his fictional works, distinguished author Jon Hassler uses his skills as a novelist to tackle an abstract concert with down-to-earth warmth and humor.  In Good People, Hassler examines goodness by exploring the many meaningful relationships with friends, family, and colleagues that have enriched his life.  In the process he tells his own life story and gives interesting glimpses into the craft of writing, his Catholic influences, and the satisfactions of living in rural Minnesota.

In a series of entertaining, insightful narratives that read like chapters from one of his novels, Hassler introduces us to all the principle players in his life: his parents and grandparents; childhood playmates; fellow teachers and writers -- including the renowned fiction writer J.F. Powers -- and other beloved neighbors and friends.  He often juxtaposes two characters to bring out the distinctive qualities of each:  his mother's loving sternness and his father's gentle benevolence; his boyhood friend Timmy's delinquency versus his young friend Jackie's saintly self-sacrifice.  Through this approach Hassler explores a number of issues:  how goodness manifests itself differently in different people; how recognizing goodness depends on one's personal perspective, and how goodness can make itself felt even through its absence.  Hassler makes these complex concepts refreshingly understandable by exploring them through the lively conversations and entertaining situations he has experienced with family and friends.  Fans of his novels will also recognize the origins of many characters and settings from Hassler's novels in the people and places he describes in this memoir.

 Throughout his reminiscences Hassler acknowledges the strong influence of Catholicism in his life and work, from the conflicts suffered by his mother over the modernizing changes to the Church in the early 1960s to Hassler's defining experiences as a student and teacher at St. John's University in Minnesota.  Hassler's lifelong exposure to spirituality has given him a special aptitude for appreciating his many blessings--familial warmth and good friends, a fulfilling professional life as writer and teacher--as well as the strength to endure the difficulties he has experienced: the pain of divorce, parental estrangement, death of loved ones, and, currently, serious illness.  Through his example readers can learn to better recognize the blessings surrounding them in their own friends and family and in the process gain a deeper perspective on the nature of goodness.

Jon Hassler is a retired teacher an an award-winning author of eleven novels, two story collections, and three plays.  Jon Hassler lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife.  He has been writing for more than thirty years and is currently working on a novel, a children's book, and a book of stories.

ISBN: 0-8294-1636-6            Paperback

Loyola Press, www.loyolapress.org

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Last modified: March 04, 2002