Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye is a captivating collection of prose and a meditative
reflection on rituals of Americana. Drawing inspiration from sources as diverse as the
timeless traditions of baseball and the ramshackle rhythms of horse racing tracks, Jim
McGarrah examines his roots in small-town Indiana, his young adult adventures in the
jungle battlefields of Viet Nam, and a retiree’s firm stand for justice on the cold plains of
North Dakota for examples of the greater meanings and lessons of life. Through poetic
reflection and sharp wit, he weaves a tapestry of contemplation and revelation. With each
turn of the page, McGarrah’s words reveal a panorama of emotions and experiences,
inviting readers to embark on their own journey of self-reflection and discovery.
Dr. Erin McCoy, author of A War Tour of Vietnam
Jim McGarrah’s newest of a dozen books, Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye, is collection of essays written with intelligence and humility. He takes his memories and experiences and brings his words to life through sensory descriptions; the reader not only sees but hears, smells, feels, and tastes the action in the essays. He also infuses the reader with a good dose of humor even when writing about serious topics. McGarrah shares life lessons and ponders questions none of us may ever know the answers to, but he ultimately leaves the reader with hope.
Robin Wright, author of Ready or Not
If you want erudite social commentary, seek out a writer with a bunch of initials after his last name, But, if you want to learn about the human condition from someone who has “lived, truly lived” through the angst and beauty of it all, read this pearl of collected nuggets, called Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye. It is full of stories about his life, from the fetid trenches of Vietnam and drunken frat parties to horse trainer and college professor. His life has been a Hemingwayesque adventure, full of New Orleans street gutters and unfastened southern Indiana brassieres, sniper deaths and bar tabs. Unlike most autobiographic memoirs, Drinkin’ My Baby Goodbye sprints away from swagger and focuses on the real worth and importance of lives in our time.
Tom Watson, author, and adj. professor of writing at Indiana University
Jim McGarrah is the author of ten books. Running the Voodoo Down won the Elixir Press Poetry Prize in 2003. His newest collection of poems, A Balancing Act, was published by Lamar University Press in November of 2018. A memoir of war entitled A Temporary Sort of Peace (Indiana Historical Society Press) won the national Eric Hoffer Legacy Nonfiction Award in 2010. Blue Heron Book Works published McGarrah’s newest nonfiction book in May, 2017 entitled Misdemeanor Outlaw.His poems and essays have been published in The American Journal of Poetry, Barcelona Review, Bayou Magazine, Cincinnati Review, Collateral, December, Innisfree, North American Review, and Southern Indiana Review among others.Read More