IN Writing

IN Writing

Uncovering the Unexpected Hoosier State
Douglas A. Wissing
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 01/04/2016
Format: Paperback 28 b&w illus.
ISBN: 978-0-253-01904-2
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Fueled by an insider’s view of Indiana and the state’s often surprising connections to the larger world, IN Writing is revelatory. It is Indiana in all its glory: sacred and profane; saints and sinners; war and peace; small towns and big cities; art, architecture, poetry and victuals. It’s about Hoosier talent and Hoosier genius: the courageous farmer-soldiers who ardently try to win the hearts and minds of 21st century Afghan insurgents; the artisans whose work pulses with the aesthetics of far-away homelands; and the famous modernist poet who had to leave to make his mark. It’s about places that speak to a wider world: Columbus and its remarkable architecture; New Harmony and its enduring idealism; Indianapolis and its world-renowned Crown Hill cemetery. IN Writing makes visible the unexpected bonds between Indiana and the world at large.

Author Bio

Douglas A. Wissing is an award-winning journalist and author of eight books, including Indiana: One Pint at a Time and Crown Hill: History, Spirit, Sanctuary. He has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times,,,, and, among other publications.


“A dazzling tour of Indiana’s most fascinating landmarks and icons, Douglas Wissing's book doesn’t have a dull page. This is the perfect primer for understanding what makes Indiana special, and why so many Hoosiers have enlivened American life with everything from circuses to song.”
 — Michael Sheldon, author of Michael Shelden, author of The New York Times bestseller Mark Twain: Man in White

“Douglas Wissing's IN Writing: Uncovering the Unexpected Hoosier State is a delightful, smart and funny book that spins great stories of everything Hoosier from Paw Paws to Dillinger!”
 — Dan Wakefield, author of Going All the Way and Under The Apple Tree: A WII Homefront Novel 

“As a Hoosier, if you want to learn who we are, what we do, and what our glorious state is all about, you will be enchanted with Douglas Wissing’s book. Every time I dip into it, I experience unexpected pleasures; I learn more about, and gain greater appreciation for, our marvelous Hoosier heritage.”
 — Congressman Lee Hamilton

“A must-read for anyone with affection for our state, Douglas Wissing has given me a manifesto he might not be aware I needed! Always searching for the perfect response to the (often snide) question 'why do you want to live in Indiana?' I am now equipped with a literary response. IN Writing is a smart, witty, and enchanting encapsulation of all the state’s magic. Wissing has given Hoosiers a great gift.”
 — Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of So Cold the River   

“"A Hoosier through and through, I love the way Doug Wissing reveals the quirks and marvels of our state and its people. I can’t wait to give it to my "Flyover" friends with the inscription, "I told you. We’re way more interesting than you think."”
 — Barbara Shoup, author of An American Tune: A Novel 

“Douglas Wissing’s collection, IN Writing is a revelation, an appealing insider’s look at the often overlooked and unexpected history of a great swath of Indiana, its people, history and lore. Though it begins and ends in Indiana, the reader will see how the rest of the world appears through the prism of the Hoosier state. Indiana is both a lens and a heart in Wissing’s capable rendering.”
 — William O'Rourke, author of Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer

“IN Writing will be enjoyable to the general reader for its obscure or previously suppressed stories using a well-researched behind-the-scenes point of view, as well as essays about more renowned people and issues that make up the fabric of our state’s image. This is a celebration of Indiana, a state that, in my opinion, has suffered in the past from its collective inferiority complex.”
 — Rachel Berensen Perry, author of William J. Forsyth: The Life and Work of an Indiana Artist

“With eloquent and polished style . . . highlights people, towns and events that carried impact beyond Indiana's borders.”
 — Tribune Star

“A compilation of quirky, well-crafted essays...”
 — Indianapolis Star

“IN Writing truly does succeed at Uncovering the Unexpected Hoosier State, as its subtitle promises. . .Readers of all tastes will find something to savor here.”
 — Bloom

“Wissing is clearly a masterful interviewer, capable of drawing revealing insights and colorful anecdotes from both famous and obscure subjects.”
 — Indiana Magazine of History

“Fueled by an insider’s view of Indiana and the state’s often surprising connections to the larger world, IN Writing is revelatory, making visible the unexpected bonds between the state and the world at large.”

“As a born Hoosier, he knows Indiana extremely well, as this wide-ranging compilation of his journalism shows. Bobby Knight is here of course but, more interestingly, so are John Dillinger, Alfred Kinsey and Ezra Pound.”
 — Indianapolis Star

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Table of Contents

Part I. Saints and Sinners
1. The Last Vaudevillian: Red Skelton
2. Hubris: Bobby Knight
3. Odd Bodkin
4. D.C. Riddle
5. The Hoosier General: Lewis B. Hershey and the Selective Service
6. Herbie Wirth
7. Inner Vision: Amish Healer
Part II. Complicated Places
8. A Fair of the Heart
9. A Surprising Utopia
10. Architecture and Community
11. The Song of Indiana
Part III. Culinary Delights
12. 'Cook Good, Server Generously, Price Modestly': The Shapiro’s Story
13. She’s the Cheese
14. Strange Brew
15. Market Daze: Bloomington's Farmer's Market
16. Pawpaw Redux
17. Tibetan New Year Celebration
18. Lair of the Turtle Soup: a Culinary Tradition
Part IV. Artists and Their Craft
19. This Rash Adventure: Ezra Pound at Wabash College
20. Erotica Whose Purpose Was Scholarly: Kinsey Institute Art Exhibit
21. Gargoyles and other Pagans
22. Crossroads of American Sculpture
Part VI. The Present Past
24. John Dillinger’s Funeral
25. Twist the Tiger's Tail
26. That’s It: Prohibition, 1918-1933
27. Black-Gold Era’s Luxurious Perch: Evansville Petroleum Club
28. Lions, Tigers, High Wires
29. Conflict and Conciliation
30. Taliban in Indiana
31. War Fare

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