G O D ’ S   O D D L I N G
McGraw-Hill., New York City New York, 1960. 267 pp.
 
  God's Oddling   
  Jesse Stuart’s father, Mitchell “Mick” Stuart died shortly after Stuart returned home to W-Hollow to recuperate from his heart attack. Stuart was so ill that he couldn’t attend the funeral of his father. Stuart often used his father as a character in his fiction without naming him, so he wrote God’s Oddling: The Story of Mick Stuart My Father as moving tribute to his father. The title is taken from Mick’s habit of calling his oldest son, Oddling. He thought Jesse was odd, because he didn’t drink or smoke, and he went away from home to attend school and to write. Just before his father died, it came to Stuart that his father was really God’s “oddling”— hence the book’s title. Selections from the book were published in The Strength From the Hills 1968.

Carl Leiden was a professor of political science and government from Iowa that Stuart met while teaching in Egypt in 1960-1961. The two men became fast friends: “Indeed, hardly a day passed that the two colleagues did not see each other, and get together to do something or to talk at length” (Richardson, Jesse, 395).
 

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