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Pirates You Don't Know, and Other Adventures in the Examined Life: Collected Essays Cover Image
ISBN: 9780820346786
Availability: NOT ON OUR SHELVES. Usually Arrives in 4-7 Business Days
Published: University of Georgia Press - March 15th, 2014

For nearly ten years John Griswold has been publishing his essays in
"Inside Higher Ed," "McSweeney's Internet Tendency," "Brevity," "Ninth
Letter," and "Adjunct Advocate," many under the pen name Oronte Churm.
Churm's topics have ranged widely, exploring themes such as the writing
life and the utility of creative-writing classes, race issues in a
university town, and the beautiful, protective crocodiles that lie
patiently waiting in the minds of fathers.

Though Griswold
recently entered the tenure stream, much of his experience, at a Big Ten
university, has been as an adjunct lecturer--that tenuous and uncertain
position so many now occupy in higher education. In "Pirates You Don't
Know," Griswold writes poignantly and hilariously about the contingent
nature of this life, tying it to his birth in the last American enclave
in Saigon during the Vietnam War, his upbringing in a coal town in
southern Illinois, and his experience as an army deep-sea diver and
frogman. He investigates class in America through four generations of
his family and portrays the continuing joys and challenges of fatherhood
while making a living, becoming literate, and staying open to the
world. But Griswold's central concerns apply to everyone: What does it
mean to be educated? What does it mean to think, feel, create, and be
whole? What is the point of this particular journey?

PIRATES YOU DON'T KNOW is Griswold's vital attempt at making sense of his life as a
writer and now professor. The answers for him are both comic and
profound: "Picture Long John Silver at the end of the movie, his dory
filled with stolen gold, rowing and sinking; rowing, sinking, and