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King of the Hill is A. E. Hotchner's memoir of his impoverished childhood in St. Louis, originally published in 1972. His story is one of ingenuity and spirit in the face of economic hardship during the Great Depression. Living alone in a rundown hotel while his traveling salesman father is on the road, his mother is hospitalized, and his younger brother is sent to live with relatives, young Hotchner was determined to survive to overcome the challenge of keeping his situation secret.
Looking for Miracles is a sequel to King of the Hill, originally published in 1975. The story takes place in 1936, three years after King of the Hill, when Hotchner bluffs his way into a job as a summer counselor at a camp in the Ozarks. The story is poignant and uplifting, as well as hilariously entertaining.
Bound together for the first time, the two memoirs of Hotchner's boyhood will touch readers with their truth, innocence, and joy. Hotchner's ability to convey times of intense hardship in warm and witty language attests to his stature as one of America's great storytellers.
"This is good old-fashioned memoir writing at its best: poignant, endearing, funny and evocative of a bygone era that's worth recalling in detail."
-The Washington Post
"Long before Frank McCourt, Rick Bragg, Jeannette Walls, or Natalie Kusz were turning their own true stories of childhood poverty into triumphant works of art, Hotchner had already established the childhood memoir's gold standard."
-The Chicago Tribune
Gold medal winner of the 2008 Benjamin Franklin Award for Autobiography/ Memoir and silver medal winner of the 2008 Independent Publisher Book Award for best regional non-fiction.