The Enjoy Agenda is a memoir in essays, part travelogue, part dispatch, One essay takes the reader to northern Italy, looking for Tuscan cowboys. Another takes the reader to a cacophonous, odoriferous grocery store in Shanghai. Another takes readers back to a 1960’s middle school cafeteria in the Midwest, where kids play 45’s at lunchtime, flop and jerk, and call it dance. Throughout, the writer’s goal is to capture ordinary these pregnant moments with immediacy, freshness, and humor.
In an early review of the book, Tomi Franklin observes, “Rick Bailey’s voice is part Rick Steves and part Dave Barry, with just a hint of Montaigne for good measure. Knowledgeable, funny, and utterly curious, Bailey comes off has everyone’s favorite uncle, who returns from far flung reaches to share wise tales and good wine. The book is a master class in the traditional, short-form essay. Each brief chapter plays on a theme, swerving and veering through research, meditation, and memory.”
The Enjoy Agenda will be published by University of Nebraska Press, available Spring 2019.