Idyll Banter (2003)
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In the late 1980s, while living in Brooklyn, Chris Bohjalian and his wife were cab-napped on a Saturday night, and taken on a 45-minute joy ride in which the cabbie ignored all traffic lights and stop signs. Around midnight, he deposited the young couple on a near-deserted street where officers were about to storm a crack house. Bohjalian and his wife were told to hit the ground for their own protection. While lying on the pavement, Bohjalian’s wife suggested that perhaps it was time to move to New England.
Months later they traded their co-op in Brooklyn for a century-old Victorian house in Lincoln, Vermont, and Bohjalian began chronicling life in that town in a wide variety of non-fiction magazine essays and in his weekly newspaper column.
Chris Bohjalian’s newspaper column, “Idyll Banter,” written weekly for 15 years, is a diary of both this writer’s life and how America has been transformed in the past decade and a half. It is rich with the idiosyncratic universals that come with being a parent, a child, and a spouse. Bohjalian’s wondrous non-fiction is a reflection of our own common experience.