- Title Pages
- Chapter One Origins, 1951–1969
- Chapter Two Marine, Husband, Father, and Fireman, 1969–1980
- Chapter Three Literary Apprenticeship, 1980–1987
- Chapter Four <i>Facing the Music</i>, 1987–1989
- Chapter Five Dirty Work
- Chapter Six Full-Time Writer
- Chapter Seven Joe
- Chapter Eight “Fire Notes” becomes <i>On Fire</i>, 1991–1994
- Chapter Nine Solid Success
- Chapter Ten Continued Success
- Chapter Eleven Years of Triumph
- Chapter Twelve A Return to Nonfiction
- Chapter Thirteen Leaving Algonquin
- Chapter Fourteen Writing and Building, 2004
- Chapter Fifteen Remembering Larry and <i>A Miracle of Catfish</i>, 2004–2007
- Appendix A: Poetry
- Appendix B: LB’s Chicken Stew
- Appendix C: “Larry’s Catfish,” by Clyde Edgerton
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