Books Wisconsin

N.Y. Times Best-Selling Author Michael Perry Releases New Collection

check out the latest from New Auburn native and rural Wisconsin wise man

McKenna Scherer |

Cover art for Wisconsin native Michael Perry's upcoming work,
Cover art for Wisconsin native Michael Perry's upcoming work, "Hunker: Essays on Human Connection" (Photo from Perry's social media)

Michael Perry, New York Times bestselling author, humorist, and musician, who was born and raised in New Auburn and graduated from UW-Eau Claire, released another book in his series of collected essays on June 30, entitled Hunker: Essays on Human Connection.

Perry’s work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and Esquire among others, and has also previously collaborated with Bon Iver frontman Justin Vernon in his musical endeavors. His latest work stems from a column he regularly updates called Roughneck Grace, which he didn’t originally intend to pull together into a collective piece, he said to podcast host and author Andy Andrews.

“I didn’t set out to write a collection of essays, it’s just a bunch of newspaper columns really, but as I was going through them and reading them one after the other … I just noticed that just about every other piece had some moment where I was reaching out [to people]. So, that subtitle, ‘Essays on Human Connection,’ I liked the idea of that.”

Written over the past few years, Perry of course pulled inspiration – whether purposefully or not – from the pandemic, and pointed out that “hunker” out of context may feel like a dark word, but he finds it to be something different, something more.

“A lot of times people think of ‘hunker’ as something dark and in a sense it is, I mean you’ve got to hunker down, sometimes you might have to endure some things, but I think we can all benefit from enduring some things. It’s also a way of taking care of those around you,” he said.

In recent years, Perry found that more and more of his readers were reaching out to him explaining they were really most interested in his work as a place of solace, not to be reminded of the harsher realities in the world.

“[They] weren’t looking to me for advice or a ‘take’ on the latest news blast or controversy or tragedy or variant. Instead, they said they were grateful for a brief break from it all. Something to go with their morning coffee. Something to read before bed. Something heartfelt, something goofy. Something that was anything but that other thing. Something to lighten the hunker.”

Perry’s work can be bought at a variety of places, including online on Amazon and at E.C.’s own Books-A-Million, where Hunker will likely also be available. You can also head down to the Local Store, where Hunker is available for purchase too.

Learn more about Michael Perry and his work on his website,