By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief
Arthur Hoyle—a writer, educator, independent filmmaker and resident of the Highlands—is promoting his second nonfiction book, “Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits: Americans Against the Grain,” which was published March 24 by Sunbury Press.
The book tells the story of American men and women throughout the course of history, from the colonial period to the present, who have responded in unconventional ways to challenges and circumstances.
“The people were usually people who were, in one way or another, dissenters from mainstream society,” Hoyle explained in a phone interview. “It’s true of every one of them.”
The book covers the story of Roger Williams, who was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for disputing the colonists’ right to take away the natives’ land without compensation. Because the confiscation of land was sanctioned by a charter the colonists had been given by King Charles, Williams was putting himself in conflict with the crown.
“It was a very risky thing for him to do,” Hoyle explained, “but he did it. He was a man of principle and he did it.”
Hoyle shared that the people he selected to cover in the book are all nonconformists and people acting on principle.
“I wrote the book because I had been having a real concern about the state of our democracy in our country,” Hoyle shared. “I just feel like the values on which the country was built—the enduring values—are being steadily eroded and our democracy is in peril at the moment.”
Hoyle hopes that his book reminds readers of these basic values, and that it shows that there have always been people that have stood up and reaffirmed when these values when they have been under threat.
“That was my reason for writing it and that’s why I think it’s an important book for us right now,” he said.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Hoyle has had to cancel events that were lined up to promote the book, which has led him to market it himself.
“There’s a lot you can do, you can go 24/7 if you want,” Hoyle said of promoting the book online. “So that’s keeping me busy.”
“Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits” follows Hoyle’s biography of former Palisadian Henry Miller, “The Unknown Henry Miller: A Seeker in Big Sur,” which was published in March 2014.
When he’s not writing, Hoyle shared that he loves to play the piano and volunteers as a naturalist in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, leading interpretive walks on Chumash culture.
“Mavericks, Mystics, and Misfits” is available at sunburypress.com, through Amazon or local
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