In this collection of what he always called “Sketches,” author Steve Kogan explores his personal history as an educator, writer, Brooklyn native, and American child of of Russian Jewish immigrants. At once a very personal account of life as an outsider in Post War II Brooklyn - where his mentally ill mother and communist father set him apart from his peers as much as his Yankee fandom did - these 12 essays also offer unique insights into literature, fine art, history, and music, all filtered through Kogan’s insightful and descriptive prose. From the Borsht Belt to Sixties San Francisco to a snow swaddled lean-to in deep in the New England snow, from King Lear to John Dos Passos to Bob Dylan, Kogan’s mind roams freely over a world both beautiful and frightening. Begun in the winter of 1968 when the thirty year old Kogan left his life as a Columbia University post grad and moved into a cabin he built in the Vermont Woods, the pieces included in Winter Vigil were written and re-written for the much of the author’s life. Winter Vigil was delivered to his family and friends for publication shortly before Kogan’s death in the summer of 2015. The publishers hope these works will provide insight into a uniquely American story of belonging and not belonging, thinking and feeling.