In a Special Light
Discovers everyday pleasures in the lives of ordinary people
In a Special Light is a collection of essays and short pieces by Texas writer Elroy Bode. In simple but memorable prose, Bode explores his home city of El Paso, as well as the land and people of Central Texas. He observes everyday events—a young boy in a barbershop; plaza life; a young couple in Smoky’s Barbecue. Bode also reflects on his life as a high school English teacher, a father, and a writer.
The work of Bode, who is the author of eight other books, defies classification. Like the work of Wendell Berry and Texas writer John Graves, Bode’s writing is rooted in the notion that one’s work ought to be connected with one’s place. Bode takes pleasure in the simple life, finding and giving life to what might otherwise go unnoticed.
Bode describes his shorter pieces as sketches, and indeed they each capture a glimpse of some aspect of life in Texas. He examines his relationship to the natural world and the way the land anchors him in daily life. He says, "In my own writing I constantly put down, in the form of journal entries, whatever caught my fancy. I had no formal pattern of ideas to present. All I had were questions—lots of them—about concerns that others, astoundingly, seemed either not to question very much or else had arrived at views about them that I could not accept. I felt that my life depended on the answers I would find—about the nature of reality, about the nature of nature, about religion, about the day-to-day business of humans living on a planet that kept circling, day after day, eon after eon, around a burning sun in an unfathomable world."
- Winner of the Southwest Book Award
“This polished Texas writer is drawn to look for meaning in the simple moment observed.”
— Dianne Young