For nearly fifty years Edward Hoagland has proven himself to be, in the words of William Kittredge, "one of our basic writers"--a writer whose novels, essays, and travel books have demonstrated a "pungency, directness, and his special gift for finding joy in the most unexpected places" (Alfred Kazin). In Compass Points, Hoagland looks back over his life in an attempt to discern the fundamental directions in which he is traveling, and he tells a story that embraces some of the contradictions and complexities of human experience. It reflects with elegance Hoagland's intransigent honesty, his protean ardor, and, most important, his generosity. Here, family and friends, wives and lovers, mentors and fellow writers are given their due in a life's reckoning that is shrewd in observation, marvelously crafted, rapturous in its acceptance and appreciation. A pithy mix of family history and personal insight, Compass Points transforms one man's story into an American saga.