David Heddendorf

David Heddendorf
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David Heddendorf lives in Ames, Iowa and contributes essays to the Cresset.

Recent Essays

Mr. Munson’s Mustang: A Fable

"In order to implement vital system updates, you must install the Trans-Mog-Z Facilitator, available at any Big Horizon Automotive Intervention Center. This has been your first notice.”

The Man Who Saw the Bear

What Sanders offers might be called the imagination of hope—a means of acting to stem disaster.

On Being Kind

If it keeps us from flying at each other’s throats, I’ll take kindness every time. But if we seek more than survival, kindness is just the beginning.

Sticking It Out in Green Bay: Mona Simpson’s Off Keck Road

"With her glamorous personal life and occasionally edgy prose, Simpson hardly fits the mold of the down-home writer who nurtures a sense of place. Yet..."

A Casual Birder

For most of my adult life I’ve considered myself a birder. Some people say “bird-watcher,” but for me that term conjures up the sort...

Puppets and Portraits: Two Victorians

In “The Dreams of Mrs. Flintwinch thicken,” a short chapter of Charles Dickens’ Little Dorrit (1857), the kind-hearted Arthur Clennam visits his childhood home....

Smiling Prophet of Tape and Glue

If you watch a regional sportscast on TV, or some similar out-of-the-way cable fare, you’ll eventually see a commercial featuring a smiling, chubby man...

Food and “the job of getting it there”

In Charles Frazier’s 1997 novel Cold Mountain, a minister’s daughter decides after her father’s death to remain on their western North Carolina farm, rather...

Blowing Up the Bert: The Outside Story

Two years ago I witnessed the abrupt transformation of an old and distinguished literary magazine. For the people doing the transforming, of course, the...

The Cost of Knowing One’s Place

The first time you read the novels of Thomas Hardy–especially if you read them as a young adult–you’re likely to get a pretty forceful...

In Praise of the Children’s Choir Accompanist

Every few weeks, in what I assume is a uniquely Protestant ritual, a dozen small children stand at the front of our church and...

Breaking Through the Screen Door: The Jayhawks’ Hollywood Town Hall, Twenty-Five Years Later

A couple of years ago my wife had a minor accident, the kind that results in an older car being mysteriously “totaled.” Before the...