Iowa author Zachary Michael Jack will share his recently released collection featuring the Iowa and Midwestern work of Pulitzer Prize-winning humorist and Will Rogers friend Homer Croy when he visits the Mason City Public Library December 7. Jack also plans to share historic writings about Mason City anthologized in his 2009 book Iowa, the Definitive Collection, “a must-read for all Iowans” according to Iowa Public Historian Bill Friedricks.
Published by Iowa’s Tall Corn Books, Homer Croy Corn Country features the best Midwestern writing of Homer Croy, who grew up on a pioneer farm near the border of southwestern Iowa and Northwestern Missouri and went on to stardom in Hollywood as preferred screenwriter for Will Rogers. Croy found literary fame as the scribe of humorous farm memoirs that sold in the hundreds of thousands and were issued in Armed Forces Editions for World War II soldiers missing home. Writing often of Iowa, he penned lighthearted essays on many of the Hawkeye State’s most curious claims to fames, including its unusual place names, Abe Lincoln’s Iowa farm, Antonin Dvorak in Spillville, and Shenandoah Iowa’s legendary “Farmer’s Radio Station,” KMA.
Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes writes of the book, “Homer Croy was a blue-ribbon humorist, and Homer Croy Corn Country is a funny and engaging collection of his best work.” Professor of English at Southwest Missouri State University C. D. Albin notes, “These pieces reveal Croy’s core sensibility, his wild wit tempered by warmth of feeling.”
Heir-apparent to fellow Midwestern humorist Mark Twain, Croy achieved many firsts beyond his Pulitzer Prize, among them a Who’s Who distinction as the first student of the first school of journalism in America, as the first person to tour the world shooting motion pictures, as the author of a best-selling anonymous novel, and as the recipient of the highest price ever paid in his era for the film rights to a novel.
Jack will discuss his short biography of Croy and read from the author’s humorous farm memoirs and literary journalism featuring Iowa on Dec. 7 at 3 p.m. at the Mason City Public Library.