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One of America's most acclaimed writers and journalists, Gay Talese has been fascinated by sports throughout his life. At age fifteen he became a sports reporter for his Ocean City High School newspaper; four years later, as sports editor of the University of Alabama's Crimson-White, he began to employ devices more common in fiction, such as establishing a "scene" with minute details---a technique that would later make him famous. Later, as a sports reporter for theNew York Times, Talese was drawn to individuals at poignant and vulnerable moments rather than to the spectacle of sports. Boxing held special appeal, and his Esquire pieces on Joe Louis and Floyd Patterson in decline won praise, as would his later essay "Ali in Havana,"chronicling Muhammad Ali's visit to Fidel Castro. His profile of Joe DiMaggio, "The Silent Season of a Hero," perfectly captured the great player in his remote retirement, and displayed Talese's journalistic brilliance, for it grew out of his on-the-ground observation of the Yankee Clipper rather than from any interview. More recently, Talese traveled to China to track down and chronicle the female soccer player who missed a penalty kick that would have won China the World Cup. Chronicling Talese's writing over more than six decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult journalism and including several never-before-published pieces (such as one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and notes on the background of each piece,The Silent Season of a Hero is a unique and indispensable collection for sports fans and those who enjoy the heights of journalism.
Gay Talese is the internationally acclaimed and bestselling author of Unto the Sons, Honor Thy Father, Thy Neighbor's Wife, A Writer's Life, The Kingdom and the Power, The Bridge, and The Gay Talese Reader. He lives in New York City and Ocean City, New Jersey.
Table of Contents
|Sports Gay-zing||p. 17|
|Short Shots in Sundry Sections||p. 21|
|Talking Basketball with Angelo Musi||p. 25|
|The Locker Room||p. 29|
|An Afternoon on the Football Field||p. 33|
|The .200 Hitter||p. 37|
|The Loneliest Guy in Boxing||p. 41|
|N.Y.U. Wins Despite 2-Way Freeze||p. 49|
|Judy Is Many Things, Mostly Frank||p. 51|
|It's a Wonderful Whirl to Gerry||p. 55|
|Portrait of a Young Prize Fighter||p. 57|
|Garden Horseshoer Works Fast||p. 60|
|Last of Bare-Knuckle Fighters Still Spry at 93||p. 62|
|Troupe of Midget Wrestlers Won't Work for Small Change||p. 65|
|Barbell King: Muscle Over Mind||p. 68|
|Dentist Puts the Bite in the Fight||p. 70|
|Timekeeper as Quiet as a Clock||p. 73|
|Diamonds Are a Boy's Best Friend||p. 75|
|On the Road, Going Nowhere, With the Yankees||p. 83|
|Notes from the Trip||p. 88|
|The Story Behind the Signal To Brush Back Cliff Johnson||p. 95|
|Race, Reporters and Responsibility||p. 104|
|The Fighter's Son||p. 108|
|The Loser||p. 111|
|Portrait of the Ascetic Champ||p. 113|
|Patterson, Indifferent at first, Finally Turns on Barking Dog||p. 123|
|Liston Aides Extol His Gaiety, Benevolence and Ruggedness||p. 127|
|Patterson Has 4 Friends, Too, But He'll Have to Fight Alone||p. 129|
|Champion Talks About Sleep and Rain and Watches His Entourage Close Camp||p. 132|
|Floyd Caught by 'a Good Punch'||p. 135|
|Masked Ex-Champion||p. 137|
|The Loser||p. 141|
|Stories With Real Names||p. 167|
|The Caddie-A Non-Alger Story||p. 169|
|Suspicious Man In the Champ's Corner||p. 175|
|Dr. Birdwhistell and the Athletes||p. 186|
|Joe Louis: The King as a Middle-Aged Man||p. 201|
|Silent Season of a Hero||p. 218|
|Architect of the Fairways||p. 246|
|Eric and Beth Heiden: A Bond of Blood on Skates||p. 255|
|The Kick She Missed||p. 261|
|The Greatest||p. 273|
|Ali in Havana||p. 275|
|Swan Song for Gay Talese||p. 305|
|Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.|