Somehow, during his early fifties, Blant Hurt, a lifelong flatlander and lover of big cities, was transformed into an unlikely (yet avid) Ozarker. His journey is chronicled in The Awkward Ozarker: A Curious Tale of Self-Reinvention in a Scantily Settled Land… Visit the place where it all started – his so-called decent, little ole cabin up on Highway 9, a place he and his wife call Hogback Mountain. From here, a new world opens to his “true Ozarker” neighbors down at the hamlet of Twin Creek, his prized cave and waterfalls, his wife’s mountain-top garden (and her steadfast preparations for the end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it). The Awkward Ozarker gets underneath the surface of this unique little corner of the world, and it’s a book that people are talking about.
Writing and storytelling can be seen as a way of capturing the moments in our lives, and, as a writing enthusiast, last year Blant also published Not the Seasons I Expected: A Fan’s Life. In this book, which was serially published in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette newspaper, he draws on his love of narrative and storytelling to drill down deep inside himself and examine the soul of college football fanatic. (From an early age, Blant attached what some might call an “outsize life importance” to the fortunes of his favorite team, the Arkansas Razorbacks — a team which, like his own life, had a habit of going in directions that he did not foresee.) Candid, funny, and introspective, Not the Seasons I Expected is that rare “sports” book that focuses on the hopes and dreams of the people in the bleachers, rather than the ones on the playing field. As such, it speaks to delirious/heartbroken fans everywhere.