Thanks to President Obama, the expression “kick ass” (or variations thereof) has come off the street and into mainstream news coverage. Headline writers and TV news readers were freed from restraint after the president told Matt Lauer of the Today show he was talking to experts to find answers about the Gulf oil spill “so I know whose ass to kick.”
But best-selling author Carl Hiaasen — special guest at the National Society of Newspaper Columnists conference July 8-11 at Bloomington, Ind. — also deserves credit for breaking the ice with his 1999 book titled Kick Ass, a collection of columns he wrote for The Miami Herald. The introduction refers to Hiaasen’s “baseball-bat-to-the-forehead” column as being “enormously popular for its passionate conviction and willingness to confront powerful interests in pursuit of the public good.” One reviewer described Hiaasen as “a truly funny writer” with “a stern moral compass” and said Kick Ass “reveals an angry, alert civic muckraker in the pugilistic vein of Mencken or Royko.”
A 10th anniversary edition of Kick Ass is available at amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.
Hiaasen has a new novel coming out July 27. Star Island is about a stand-in for a pop star who finds herself stalked on South Beach by a crazed paparazzo.
He is the author of eleven previous novels, including the best-selling Nature Girl, Skinny Dip, Sick Puppy, and Lucky You, and three best-selling children’s books, Hoot, Flush, and Scat. His most recent work of nonfiction is The Downhill Lie: A Hacker’s Return to a Ruinous Sport. He also continues to write a weekly column for The Miami Herald.
Writers attending the NSNC conference at Indiana University July 8-11 will have the opportunity to meet Carl Hiaasen and hear what he thinks about a variety of matters. He will be honored by the presentation of Ernie Pyle Lifetime Achievement Award at the Saturday night awards banquet on July 10.
Columnists who have written books will have a chance to sell some copies at the Book Fair, scheduled for 4 to 5:30 p.m. Friday afternoon, July 9.
It’s not too late to register for the conference .[Article Submitted by Robert Haught]