The Silent Season of a Hero
The Sports Writing of Gay Talese
Walker & Company
On Sale: September 28, 2010
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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 the New 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.
Weekend Edition Saturday - October 2, 2010
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