Tough Luck


Todd Boss (Author)

Overview | Formats

“[Todd Boss]’s poems generate their own rambunctious music and remind us ‘yes, / miracles happen.’ ”—Minneapolis Star Tribune

At the center of Tough Luck is a poem about the ill-fated I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis and its disastrous collapse, which killed 13 people and injured 145. The freighted, swiftly moving poems in Tough Luck crisscross the chasm between peril and safety as if between opposing riverbanks, revealing a frequently heart-stopping view of the muscled waters below. Marriage, family, home—all come crashing down, but Todd Boss rebuilds with his trademark musicality and “a reverent gusto for representing the tactile aspects of human life” (Tony Hoagland).

From “In the End a Gardener”:

is what we want in our corner
of paradise. Someone alert
to the slant of one hour
of afternoon sunlight or other,
who knows what to plant there,
knows what will thrive.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • Forthcoming February 2019
  • ISBN 978-0-393-35663-2
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 112 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide

Other Formats

  1. Book CoverTough Luck: Poems


Endorsements & Reviews

“Eminently readable. . . .In a narrative that is intellectually delicious, Freedman presents a new way of thinking about ‘you are what you eat.’ This will appeal widely, engaging readers with both a casual or scholarly interest in food history and its influence on American culture in the late 19th and 20th centuries.” — Washington Post

“A robust historical trek through America's restaurant cuisine over three centuries. . . . Delightfully illustrated with menus, photos, and other visual accompaniments, the narrative delves into each of the 10 restaurants' unique stories, beginning with America's first restaurant, Delmonico's . . . . Culinary historians, those besotted with food culture, and curious general readers will all find something of value in this well-researched, entertaining social and cultural history.” — Star Tribune

“The most important and entertaining book on the subject of food that I’ve read in years! Paul Freedman paints a portrait of a culture whose cuisine is only beginning to emerge. Witty, sensitive, surprisingly sensuous—more, please!” — Library Journal, starred review

“Paul Freedman, one of the world’s most learned food writers, has focused his extraordinary scholarship on a deconstruction of American dining from the corner deli to Chez Panisse. If you enjoy a brown paper bag of fried clams as much as a fourteen-course tasting menu, and ever wondered how it all came to be a part of daily American life, this is the book for you. Ten Restaurants That Changed America is the most enlightening kind of history, as Freedman takes a fresh look at what we take for granted and reveals the extraordinary matrix of cultural and culinary currents that have made it all possible.” — Beth Ann Fennelly

“Pleasure without snobbery: Paul Freedman’s book is itself exactly what the very best American food has always been.” — Alicia Ostriker, author of The Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog

Also by Todd Boss All

  1. Book CoverPitch: Poems


  2. Book CoverYellowrocket: Poems