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In the center of the rural boomtown of Soda Springs, Idaho, stands the historic Enders Hotel, Café, and Bar, a three-story brick building that has been many things to many people. But to one family who bought it as an attempt to renew themselves it was home, a place they desperately tried to hold on to and yet, after seventeen years of living there, the very place from which they wanted to escape. Growing up under its leaking roof, Brandon R. Schrand watched a cast of broken characters pass through the hotel doors—an alcoholic artist, a forgotten boxing champ, an ex-con, a homeless family—and tried to find his own identity among those revolving faces. Haunted by a father he had never seen, he tested the faces of those drifters for familiarity. Winner of the River Teeth Literary Nonfiction Prize, The Enders Hotel reveals the promises and warnings of western boomtown life—stories of alcoholism, murder, betrayal, hope, and finally, redemption.
About the Author
Brandon R. Schrand is the coordinator of the MFA program in creative writing at the University of Idaho. His work has appeared in such periodicals as The Utne Reader, Tin House, Green Mountains Review, Colorado Review, River Teeth, Ecotone, and other journals.
“For a young child, the hotel exerted a certain kind of magic, which Schrand effectively captures in his reminiscences. . . . An evocative account of a man coming to terms with his youth.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Schrand’s deeply textured memoir of life in a small Idaho town boasts a rich palette of glittering iridescent hues, somber earth tones, and delicate, evocative washes. . . . Schrand’s memoir sings, stirring the senses as much as the soul.”—Whitney Scott, Booklist (starred review)
"Schrand proves himself a top-notch yarn spinner with this richly described, poignant memoir."—Jenny Shank, NewWest.net
"A satisfying read."—C. K. Crigger, Roundup Magazine
"Schrand's stories of life at the family-owned Enders Hotel in Soda Springs, ID, resonate with the wide-eyed enthusiasm of youth and yet are balanced with the sober vision of hindsight. . . . Schrand's specificity and eye for detail transport readers to the desolate environs of the Enders Hotel. This book will appeal to anyone who has ever felt out of place or out of step with the world, especially teen males."—Jennifer Waters, School Library Journal
"Whether comic books developed his acute insights, or familiarity with people on the move to somewhere else, Schrand has a compassionate understanding of the way we try to renew ourselves through the place we call home."—Renée E. D'Aoust, Notre Dame Review