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Snake vem that digests human flesh. A building cleared of every living thing by a band of tiny spiders. An infant insect eating its living prey from within, saving the vital organs for last. These are among the deadly feats of natural engineering you'll witness in The Red Hourglass, prize-winning author Gordon Grice's masterful, poetic, often dryly funny exploration of predators he has encountered around his rural Oklahoma home. Kill. Eat. Mate. Die. Charting the simple brutality of the lives of these predators, Grice's starkly graceful essays guide us toward startling truths about our own predatory nature. The Red Hourglass brings us face to fanged face with the inadequacy of our distinctions between rmal and abrmal, dead and alive, incent and evil.
Gordon Grice's writing about the black widow spider has appeared in High Plains Literary Review and Harper's. It has been anthologized in Houghton Mifflin's Best American Essays 1996 and in college readers. Grice teaches humanities and English at Seward County Community College in Liberal, Kansas. He lives in rural Oklahoma with his wife and their three-year-old son. From the Hardcover edition.