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Letters to Emma Bowlcut
Letters to Emma Bowlcut

Letters to Emma Bowlcut


79 Pages, 5 x 7.75

Formats: Trade Paper

Trade Paper, $16.95 (US $16.95) (CA $18.95)

Publication Date: July 2010

ISBN 9780982048023

Rights: US & CA

Drag City (Jul 2010)

Price: $16.95


Sixty-two letters from a nameless protagonist comprise this epistolary novel. He writes them to Emma, a woman he sees at a party. Each entry captures the loose, disparate details of daily life, including desires, frustrations, joys, social observations, anecdotes, advice, and the self, as depicted through emotional weather updates. Emma’s replies are not revealed, but the narrator’s persona is as he philosophizes and courts the object of his affection. He is a fan of boxing, a scientist by trade, and a student of the “vortex”—an entity he uses to describe his self-deterioration and the emptiness in his life. Together, the letters reveal the internal dialog of a conflicted protagonist who shadowboxes Emma, himself, and even the reader.


“There are two categories of insight: the one that elicits a mild shrug of respectful recognition, and the occasional complete table-turner—the insight that goes beyond the commonplace—that eats away at your psyche like a boll weevil in the biscuit tin. It is the latter kind that mournful minstrel Bill Callahan trades in.” —Independent

“The handsome volume is another surprising entry in Drag City's publishing project and shows an even more poetic, personal side of Callahan than you're likely to find on record!” —Dusty Groove America

Author Biography

Bill Callahan is a singer-songwriter who formerly performed under the alias Smog. He has released 14 albums under both the alias and his own name. He lives in Austin, Texas.