I've been thinking of writing a letter to Charles Baxter to let him know that I liked The Feast of Love so much I've bought it three times.
One copy got loaned to a friend in Memphis. I didn't remember who I'd given it to, and then I moved to Wisconsin. So that pretty first edition hardback is gone. The second copy got lost at the beach. The third copy I loaned to a friend who was going through some epically bad times, and one passage in the book hit him so hard that he tore it in half and threw it against the wall.
Maybe this has been up for ages, but Baxter has an excerpt from an unpublished novel called In Hibernation (1977) up on his site. It involves a couple chasing a hot air balloon full of missionary hippies around St. Paul, and is pretty funny:
"We want to go for a ride!" Lorraine said suddenly. "Could you take us up? Only five minutes?"
"Little lady," Xavier said, "that might be hard to do. I am thinking about it. All right. Here's what. Two conditions. First, I got to talk to your old man here, alone. Second, all I can take up is you. He gotta stay down here with Lone Star and the woman."
"Why can't you take him?" Lorraine asked.
"On account of God don't like two males in the gondola."