“Short story writer McNair (The Temple of Air, 2011) proves to be an irresistible personal essayist of refreshing candor, vibrant openheartedness, rueful humor, and unassuming wisdom . . .  McNair frankly addresses sexuality and sexual abuse, the last two presidential elections, and the lives and deaths of loved ones. Throughout these vital, confiding, potent, and superbly well-crafted essays, McNair also muses on her path to becoming a writer and a writing teacher, generously sharing insights into the creative process and “the yearning toward wonder.”    --Donna Seaman, Booklist


“Patricia Ann McNair's And These Are the Good Times is a startlingly evocative exploration of the complexities of family, love, writing, sex, loss, and national identity. McNair's essays are challenging, colloquial, and contemplative. Her work recalls Jo Ann Beard and Mary Karr in its powerful insistence and range."    --Joe Meno, author of Marvel and a Wonder and Hairstyles of the Damned

“‘Good,’ in the dexterous eyes and mind of Patricia Ann McNair, lodges itself in the details. A safety-pinned button on the cuff of a Cuban valet’s fresh uniform; the cool relief of Thin Mints after the flu; Christmas interpreted by a 400-pound cab driver. These essays travel widely through time and geography, and all are places and moments you’ll count yourself lucky to have ventured with a wry, smart yet tender-hearted guide. McNair searches for home, and finds homes instead.”  --Mardi Jo Link, author of Bootstrapper: From Broke to Badass on a Northern Michigan Farm 

“The essays in And These Are the Good Times are so arrestingly good that I had to stop several times to marvel at how keen, generous, and compassionate Patricia Ann McNair’s writing is.  She’s put her arms around the world and embraced so many of its complexities with the great heart and wondering eye of a poet.”   --Christine Sneed, author of Little Known Facts and The Virginity of Famous Men



"In this heartfelt collection of essays that run the gamut of emotions, Patricia Ann McNair, with her usual wit, wisdom, and unflinching honesty, articulates all manner of crucial questions--on being a daughter, a sister, a woman, an artist, an American in the here and now; the articulations diving so profoundly into the particulars of her life that we are carried, as articulation of crucial questions usually do, to all manner of universal reflection and, contemplation."   --Eric May, author of Bedrock Faith

“Patricia Ann McNair is a brilliant essayist. Her intelligence is fierce, her prose is luminous, her storytelling is enthralling. The collection spans decades and continents and a whole spectrum of emotion; joy, rage, heat, shock, did I mention heat? At one point, while reading this collection in a coffee shop, the person at the next table leaned over to ask if I was okay. I hadn’t realized I was crying. I hadn’t realized I was breathing. I hadn’t realized I was even in a coffee shop—I’d been in a backroom in Cuba, listening to an old man in the next room; a bar in Chicago with McNair and her brother and the gut-punch of regret; a cabin in Northern Michigan with newfound love and unspeakable loss. My God, my heart.”   --Megan Stielstra, author of The Wrong Way to Save Your Life

“Patricia Ann McNair adds her remarkable voice to an impress-ive list of Chicago nonfiction writers who have soared to national attention. Her style leaps from the page: unselfconsciously sexy, laced with the big questions, sporting a gritty wisdom. These essays are smart, sophisticated, writerly, and simul-taneously intimate and familial.  Add to this her range of literary interests and the breadth of her subject matter—dancing to jukeboxes, reading her father’s FBI files, running gas stations, working the Chicago Mercantile Exchange—and you have a collection that will absorb, delight, and keep you turning the pages.”  --Anne-Marie Oomen, author of Love, Sex and 4-H


​ “If the city of Chicago has captivated you as it has me, and if you crave stories about the people who live here, then And These Are The Good Times is a perfect read for you. . .  McNair takes the personal and precious moments of her life and share them with her readers as if she were writing in a journal.”          --Starza Thompson, Windy City Reviews

Reviews of AND THESE ARE THE GOOD TIMES

​​

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 

SideSTreetPress