In 2008, after a record-breaking career as a D1 college baseball player, Emil DeAndreis' life seemed set: He was twenty-three, in great shape, and had just been offered a contract to pitch professionally in Europe. Then his body fell apart. It started with elbow stiffness, then swelling in his wrist. Soon, his fingers were too bloated to grip a baseball. He had Rheumatoid Arthritis, a disease that causes swelling and eventual deterioration of the joints, mostly targeting old people and women. Hard To Grip tells the story of a young man's body giving out when he needs it most. It chronicles an ascending sports career, the ups and downs of life in the NCAA, and the challenges of letting go of pro baseball due to a dehumanizing condition. In a series of humorous anecdotes, Emil takes the reader on his bittersweet journey of a young man's having to grapple with an "old woman's disease." From striking out future major leaguer All Stars, to sitting in support groups; from breaking university records, to barely making it up the stairs; from language barriers with Chinese healers to figuring out how to be employed as a vegetable, this book unveils the disease with humor and fearless honesty through the eyes of an unlikely victim. This memoir is an honest, rueful and at times hilarious story about learning to come to terms with a new reality, and an inspiring account of how Emil learned to run with the disease and not from it.
Welcome to the wonderful world of public education, as seen through the eyes of seasoned substitute teacher, Horton Hagardy. It's a time you might recall with great fondness if you were a student-a day to escape the oppressive existence of your everyday tormentors. If you're a substitute, however, these dark, funny, and often poignant stories, take you to a very real place. In Emil DeAndreis's new book, Beyond Folly, we are on the front lines of the education system, in the trenches, so to speak, of what it feels like to face the everyday challenges of being a teacher on call. These thoughtful and insightful linked-together tales give the reader a behind-the-scenes peek into the life and mind of a substitute teacher, an isolated, underpaid, and underappreciated professional.
Fiction. Cross-Genre. "Nona Caspers gives us a refreshingly honest and poignant slice of truth in her BOOK OF DAYS. Observing cars, neighbors, ground squirrels, desire and death, BOOK OF DAYS is a contemporary take on Montaigne's famous ESSAYS, so alive that every page feels as if it's breathing"--Maxine Chernoff. "I like how she falls through the present into prehistory (of this or that specific thing) in a blink. Supported by a rhythm of the claws of love, a hand on the back of your head, the warmth inside of coldness of the daily fading world--an avalanche of quiet risk-taking, this book sings"--Eileen Myles. Nona Caspers is also the author of Heavier Than Air: Stories (University of Massachusetts Press), which won the Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction and was a New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice. She's been awarded an NEA fellowship and Iowa Review Fiction Award along with other awards and is an Associate Professor at San Francisco State University.
Author: Alex Lemon
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2009-12-29
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
His freshman year of college, Alex Lemon was supposed to be the star catcher on the Macalester College baseball team. He was the boy getting every girl, the hard-partying kid everyone called Happy. In the spring of 1997, he had his first stroke. For two years Lemon coped with his deteriorating health by sinking deeper into alcohol and drug abuse. His charming and carefree exterior masked his self-destructive and sometimes cruel behavior as he endured two more brain bleeds and a crippling depression. After undergoing brain surgery, he is nursed back to health by his free-spirited artist mother, who once again teaches him to stand on his own. Alive with unexpected humor and sensuality, Happy is a hypnotic self-portrait of a young man confronting the wreckage of his own body; it is also the deeply moving story of a mother’s redemptive and healing powers. Alex Lemon’s Technicolor sentences pop and sing as he writes about survival—of the body and of the human spirit.
A haunting collection of lyrically-intense persona poems, "Black Crow Dress" is at once about the emancipation of slaves in their myriad voices as well as a meditation on the self. The collection's lush imagery takes us from church yard to church, chanting the old spirituals, as Johnson seeks to embody the spirits of the dead: Clea, Caroline and Zebedee. Original.
Author: Jesse Berrett
Publisher: University of Illinois Press
Release Date: 2018-04-11
Genre: Sports & Recreation
Cast as the ultimate hardhats, football players of the 1960s seemed to personify a crewcut traditional manhood that channeled the Puritan work ethic. Yet, despite a social upheaval against such virtues, the National Football League won over all of America—and became a cultural force that recast politics in its own smashmouth image. Jesse Berrett explores pro football's new place in the zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s. The NFL's brilliant harnessing of the sports-media complex, combined with a nimble curation of its official line, brought different visions of the same game to both Main Street and the ivory tower. Politicians, meanwhile, spouted gridiron jargon as their handlers co-opted the NFL's gift for spectacle and mythmaking to shape a potent new politics that in essence became pro football. Governing, entertainment, news, elections, celebrity--all put aside old loyalties to pursue the mass audience captured by the NFL's alchemy of presentation, television, and high-stepping style. An invigorating appraisal of a dynamic era, Pigskin Nation reveals how pro football created the template for a future that became our present.
Author: Carolina De Robertis
Release Date: 2017
Genre: Political Science
Radical Hope is a collection of letters--to ancestors, to children five generations from now, to strangers in grocery lines, to any and all who feel weary and discouraged--written by award-winning novelists, poets, political thinkers, and activists. Provocative and inspiring, Radical Hope offers readers a kaleidoscopic view of the love and courage needed to navigate this time of upheaval, uncertainty, and fear, in view of the recent US presidential election. Including letters by Junot D�az, Alicia Garza, Roxana Robinson, Lisa See, Jewelle Gomez, Hari Kunzru, Faith Adiele, Parnaz Foroutan, Chip Livingston, Mohja Kahf, Achy Obejas, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Cherr�e Moraga, Kate Schatz, Boris Fishman, Karen Joy Fowler, Elmaz Abinader, Aya de Le�n, Jane Smiley, Luis Alberto Urrea, Mona Eltahawy, Jeff Chang, Claire Messud, Meredith Russo, Reyna Grande, Katie Kitamura, iO Tillett Wright, Francisco Goldman, Celeste Ng, Peter Orner, and Cristina Garc�a.
Author: Bruce Snider
Publisher: Louisiana State University Press
Release Date: 2012
A father and son shovel snow from a driveway; a boy accidentally sets himself on fire; two boys fish for bluegill; a young drag queen returns home to die. At the center of it all, a teenage boy's suicide resonates through the lives of those closest to him. The poems in Bruce Snider's Paradise, Indiana describe a place where mundane events neighbor the most harrowing. Shaped by the author's experiences growing up in rural Indiana, Snider investigates the landscapes traditionally claimed by male poets such as James Wright, James Dickey, and Richard Hugo, whose visions of place rarely, if ever, included the presence of gays and lesbians. Paradise, Indiana envisions a seldom recorded rural America, one where everything exists side by side: the county fair and an abandoned small town gay bar, farmers and cross-dressers, death and hope, beauty and despair.
In MUSES, David Hathwell honors rich sources of inspiration in ordinary experience that call forth--compel--vivid sensuous response. Hathwell finds his muse in a dancer's joy and the satisfactions of ritual celebration; a lone workman's dull routine; a red dress and poplars; a discarded ankle boot and the back of a hand.
The publication of Jarhead launched a new career for Anthony Swofford, earning him accolades for its gritty and unexpected portraits of the soldiers who fought in the Gulf War. It spawned a Hollywood movie. It made Swofford famous and wealthy. It also nearly killed him. Now with the same unremitting intensity he brought to his first memoir, Swofford describes his search for identity, meaning, and a reconciliation with his dying father in the years after he returned from serving as a sniper in the Marines. Adjusting to life after war, he watched his older brother succumb to cancer and his first marriage disintegrate, leading him to pursue a lifestyle in Manhattan that brought him to the brink of collapse. Consumed by drugs, drinking, expensive cars, and women, Swofford lost almost everything and everyone that mattered to him. When a son is in trouble he hopes to turn to his greatest source of wisdom and support: his father. But Swofford and his father didn't exactly have that kind of relationship. The key, he realized, was to confront the man-a philandering, once hard-drinking, now terminally ill Vietnam vet he had struggled hard to understand and even harder to love. The two stubborn, strong-willed war vets embarked on a series of RV trips that quickly became a kind of reckoning in which Swofford took his father to task for a lifetime of infidelities and abuse. For many years Swofford had considered combat the decisive test of a man's greatness. With the understanding that came from these trips and the fateful encounter that took him to a like-minded woman named Christa, Swofford began to understand that becoming a father himself might be the ultimate measure of his life. Elegantly weaving his family's past with his own present-nights of excess and sexual conquest, visits with injured war veterans, and a near-fatal car crash-Swofford casts a courageous, insistent eye on both his father and himself in order to make sense of what his military service meant, and to decide, after nearly ending it, what his life can and should become as a man, a veteran, and a father.
"With acerbic wit & a hilarious voice, Shane Burcaw's YA memoir describes the challenges he faces as a 20-year-old with muscular atrophy. From awkward handshakes to trying to finding a girlfriend and everything in between"--
A New York Times Bestseller "Berger movingly details her journey to healing. Her indefatigable quest...underscores the fact that there is no such thing as one size fits all in medicine."—Gayatri Devi, MD, clinical associate professor, NYU School of Medicine, and author of A Calm Brain Taking charge of your health has never been so important as it is today. Jody Berger has discovered this first hand: at forty-three, the award-winning journalist and marathoner sees a doctor about a minor tingling sensation in her hands and feet. One MRI later, she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and told to pick a drug and accept her fate. Instead Jody starts asking questions—only to receive a different diagnosis from each specialist she turns to, from vitamin deficiencies to metal toxicity to depression. In this powerful, witty, and eye-opening account of her misadventures from misdiagnosis to miraculous recovery, Jody offers insightful tips on how to ask doctors the right questions to get the answers and treatment you need, listen to your body, and choose health over illness. After all, while we can't always heal, we can always take control of our health and ourselves—starting now. "In this compelling, beautifully written book, Jody Berger offers an empowering look at the importance of finding the strength and confidence to take charge of your health."—Mary Shomon, New York Times bestselling author and patient advocate
Author: Charles Fountain
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: 2015-09-17
In the most famous scandal of sports history, eight Chicago White Sox players--including Shoeless Joe Jackson--agreed to throw the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for the promise of $20,000 each from gamblers reportedly working for New York mobster Arnold Rothstein. Heavily favored, Chicago lost the Series five games to three. Although rumors of a fix flew while the series was being played, they were largely disregarded by players and the public at large. It wasn't until a year later that a general investigation into baseball gambling reopened the case, and a nationwide scandal emerged. In this book, Charles Fountain offers a full and engaging history of one of baseball's true moments of crisis and hand-wringing, and shows how the scandal changed the way American baseball was both managed and perceived. After an extensive investigation and a trial that became a national morality play, the jury returned not-guilty verdicts for all of the White Sox players in August of 1921. The following day, Judge Kennesaw Mountain Landis, baseball's new commissioner, "regardless of the verdicts of juries," banned the eight players for life. And thus the Black Sox entered into American mythology. Guilty or innocent? Guilty and innocent? The country wasn't sure in 1921, and as Fountain shows, we still aren't sure today. But we are continually pulled to the story, because so much of modern sport, and our attitude towards it, springs from the scandal. Fountain traces the Black Sox story from its roots in the gambling culture that pervaded the game in the years surrounding World War I, through the confusing events of the 1919 World Series itself, to the noisy aftermath and trial, and illuminates the moment as baseball's tipping point. Despite the clumsy unfolding of the scandal and trial and the callous treatment of the players involved, the Black Sox saga was a cleansing moment for the sport. It launched the age of the baseball commissioner, as baseball owners hired Landis and surrendered to him the control of their game. Fountain shows how sweeping changes in 1920s triggered by the scandal moved baseball away from its association with gamblers and fixers, and details how American's attitude toward the pastime shifted as they entered into "The Golden Age of Sport." Situating the Black Sox events in the context of later scandals, including those involving Reds manager and player Pete Rose, and the ongoing use of steroids in the game up through the present, Fountain illuminates America's near century-long fascination with the story, and its continuing relevance today.
Author: David Maraniss
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2013-03-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Pulitzer Prize winner David Maraniss’s brilliant rendering of the life of one of baseball’s most iconic figures captures both myth and man in daunting sweep and meticulous detail. On New Year’s Eve 1972, beloved Pittsburgh Pirate Roberto Clemente died a hero’s death, killed in a plane crash while attempting to deliver food and medical supplies to Nicaragua after a devastating earthquake. His career ended with four batting titles, two World Series championships, and three thousand hits; he and the immortal Lou Gehrig are the only players in history to have the five-year waiting period waived so they could be enshrined in the Hall of Fame immediately after their deaths. But Clemente was also that rare athlete who rose above sports to become a symbol of larger themes. Born at a time when there were no players of color in American baseball, Clemente went on to become the greatest Latino player in the major leagues. With determination, grace, and dignity, he paved the way and set the highest standard for his peers both on and off the field: his famous motto was “If you have a chance to help others and fail to do so, you are wasting your time on this earth.” The end of the book reveals the corruption and negligence that led Clemente toward his untimely death as an uninspected, overloaded plane plunged into the sea.
Author: Lisa Halliday
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Release Date: 2018-02-06
The bestselling and critically acclaimed debut novel by Lisa Halliday, Asymmetry, hailed as “extraordinary” by The New York Times, “a brilliant and complex examination of power dynamics in love and war” by The Wall Street Journal, and “a literary phenomenon” by The New Yorker. Told in three distinct and uniquely compelling sections, Asymmetry explores the imbalances that spark and sustain many of our most dramatic human relations: inequities in age, power, talent, wealth, fame, geography, and justice. The first section, “Folly,” tells the story of Alice, a young American editor, and her relationship with the famous and much older writer Ezra Blazer. A tender and exquisite account of an unexpected romance that takes place in New York during the early years of the Iraq War, “Folly” also suggests an aspiring novelist’s coming-of-age. By contrast, “Madness” is narrated by Amar, an Iraqi-American man who, on his way to visit his brother in Kurdistan, is detained by immigration officers and spends the last weekend of 2008 in a holding room in Heathrow. These two seemingly disparate stories gain resonance as their perspectives interact and overlap, with yet new implications for their relationship revealed in an unexpected coda. A stunning debut from a rising literary star, Asymmetry is “a transgressive roman a clef, a novel of ideas, and a politically engaged work of metafiction” (The New York Times Book Review), and a “masterpiece” in the original sense of the word” (The Atlantic). Lisa Halliday’s novel will captivate any reader with while also posing arresting questions about the very nature of fiction itself.