Edward Hoagland is a prolific American essayist and nature writer. Having lived much of his life in between New York City (where he was born in 1932) and the backcountry of Vermont, British Columbia, and Alaska, his writing reflects two essential but polarizing aspects of American life.
He has been praised by writers like John Updike as “the best essayist of my generation,” and Edward Abbey as a “a strong, solid writer with a splendid feel for the intricacy, queerness and stubborn pertinacity of life.”
In the upcoming Winter issue of The American Scholar, we will be publishing a piece he wrote called “On Friendship,” which explores how the intimacies shared with our closest companions keep us anchored, vital, and alive.
In anticipation, we are looking back to an essay that he wrote for us called “Spaced Out in the City” about how smartphones and handheld gadgets are distancing us from our beloved cities. This observation seems increasingly relevant just two years later.

Edward Hoagland is a prolific American essayist and nature writer. Having lived much of his life in between New York City (where he was born in 1932) and the backcountry of Vermont, British Columbia, and Alaska, his writing reflects two essential but polarizing aspects of American life.

He has been praised by writers like John Updike as “the best essayist of my generation,” and Edward Abbey as a “a strong, solid writer with a splendid feel for the intricacy, queerness and stubborn pertinacity of life.”

In the upcoming Winter issue of The American Scholar, we will be publishing a piece he wrote called “On Friendship,” which explores how the intimacies shared with our closest companions keep us anchored, vital, and alive.

In anticipation, we are looking back to an essay that he wrote for us called “Spaced Out in the City” about how smartphones and handheld gadgets are distancing us from our beloved cities. This observation seems increasingly relevant just two years later.

My experience with Jasper taught me two things. One: even minor relationships can end in ways that are devastating. Two: at the moment when someone makes the promise that he will never, ever betray you—particularly when you can see the carcasses of multiple, rashly aborted relationships right behind him—at that very moment, you should consider yourself betrayed.
Emily Bernard, mourning the fickleness of friendships, both insignificant and not insignificant. Read.
The planet would be such a lovely, peaceful place, she said, once we humans had finally killed each other off completely: imagine how happy the animals would be. Religion was a particular bugbear: mostly just an excuse, according to her, for people to hate each other. “How much better off we would be if nobody had ever invented God.”
Evelyn Toynton, eulogizing her mother.