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“A dazzling account that deftly combines crime, drama, history, and introspective remembrance... This is a mesmerizing story, one filled with drama and suspense and told with remarkable emotional insights.”

“A seminal and ground-breaking history of a major American company, The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy: A Family Memoir of Scandal and Greed in the Meat Industry is a fascinating and detailed study that will be of particular concern to readers with an interest in 19th Century corporate crime in general, and the history of the Hormel meat packing company in particular. Illustrated with black/white historical photos, The Butcher, the Embezzler, and the Fall Guy is an extraordinary and meticulously researched study that is especially and unreservedly recommended for both community and academic library 20th Century American History, Biography, and True Crime collections.”

— Midwest Book Review

Gretchen's First Memoir

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2020 FOREWORD INDIES Book of the Year Awards Finalist

The daughter of Pulitzer Prize–winning poet, Richard Eberhart, confronts her family’s myths and her beloved father’s betrayals while finding her voice and establishing a legacy as a trusted consultant to executives.

“Cherington’s memoir presents a persuasive account of her effort to reckon with her past. A contemplative memoir that talks about abuse and its aftermath.” 

—Kirkus Reviews

About Gretchen

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Gretchen Cherington has long observed the ways in which powerful men influence our world. Her first learning came from her  father, Pulitzer Prize–winning poet and U.S. Poet Laureate, Richard Eberhart, and his eclectic and influential writer friends, from Robert Frost to Allen Ginsberg to James Dickey. Later, as an advisor to hundreds of CEOs and top executives through her consulting career, Cherington partnered with them as they transformed their companies into places where both business and people could thrive.


An active leader in her community, she has served on twenty non-profit and corporate boards. As a writer, she uses complex family stories to illuminate our reverence for heroes, the ways we mythologize powerful men, and reconciling our complicated legacies.


Her first memoir, Poetic License, won multiple awards. Her essays have  appeared in Huffington Post, Culture Club, The Millions, Crack the Spine, Bloodroot Literary Magazine, Women Writers/Women’s Books, MS. Girl, Yankee and more. Her essay “Maine Roustabout” was nominated for a 2012 Pushcart Prize. Gretchen and her husband split their time between Portland Maine and a saltwater cottage on Penobscot Bay. She renews herself in wild places out of doors.

About Me
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