Roger Hodge: Texan, Literary 'Omnivore'

by Kate Knable  on Monday, Sep. 24, 2012 12:00 am  

Roger Hodge (Photo by Russell Powell).

Hodge is also interested in adding more long-form literary journalism.  

Unlike Smirnoff, Hodge doesn’t necessarily plan to live in Arkansas. Hodge’s wife Deborah is a teacher in New York, and she and their two sons, ages 15 and 10, are staying in Brooklyn while Hodge commutes southward some and primarily edits remotely.

­­­Writer b­­­­­­­­y Accident

Hodge, 45, has lived about half his life in the southern U.S.

He grew up near the Mexican border in Del Rio, Texas, with the Rio Grande less than a mile from his house. His family has ranched in Texas since the 1880s.

Hodge attended the University of the South at Sewanee, Tenn., where he earned a degree in comparative literature.

He became a writer “just by accident, like most people,” he said. “Well, I guess, you get out of college and you don’t know what to do. I just started writing. And I had different jobs. And we moved around some. And I had many, many jobs — from line cook in a restaurant to insurance adjuster, for awhile.”

Hodge left the South in 1991 to pursue a graduate degree in philosophy at the New School for Social Research in New York. He then picked up an internship as a fact checker at Harper’s in 1996.

“Like everybody in those jobs, you start off working for free and when somebody leaves, you get the full-time job,” Hodge said. “And then I stayed for 14 years. From intern to editor-in-chief. … At a place like that, you can do what you’re willing to do. And I worked hard and people would leave and I would get different jobs.”
Hodge has published one book, “The Mendacity of Hope,” a critique of President Barack Obama, and is currently writing a book about Texas.  

Reading widely is among his responsibilities as an editor. “I read novels, poetry, literary nonfiction,” Hodge said. “I’m an omnivore when it comes to literature and to music and to art.”



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