According to a New York Timesbook review by English Professor Carlo Rotella, Escape Velocity: A Charles Portis Miscellany — a collection of the author’s reporting, essays, short stories and drama– is a worthwhile read for Portis’ fans. Rotella, who also serves as director of BC’s American Studies program, has a newly published book of his own: Playing in Time: Essays, Profiles, and Other True Stories (University of Chicago Press). From the publisher: “The two dozen essays in Playing in Time, some of which have never before been published, revolve around the themes and obsessions that have characterized Rotella’s writing from the start: boxing, music, writers, and cities. What holds them together is Rotella’s unique focus on people, craft, and what floats outside the mainstream. ‘Playing in time’ refers to how people make beauty and meaning while working within the constraints and limits forced on them by life.”
Rotella also is a regular contributing columnist for the Boston Globe. His recent pieces reflect on the ingredients for a good education and the inspiration to be gleaned from the Rocky Marciano statue in Brockton.