Thanks to the unifying power of the Pandemic Baseball Book Club, I had the chance to sit down (virtually) with Devin Gordon (author of the wonderful, sad, funny, and beautiful So Many Ways to Lose: The Amazin’ True Story of the New York Mets — The Best Worst Team in Sports) to talk about The Only Way Is the Steady Way. Devin did a deep, thorough read of the book and came ready with some great questions.
We here in Ontario are about to go into another lockdown, and the air outside my window is adance with snow flurries, but it’s Opening Day, damn it, and so we rejoice and find gladness in the promise of a new season. Tomorrow, April 2, is the official publication date of The Only Way Is the Steady Way, so chosen because it’s also the twentieth anniversary of Ichiro’s MLB debut. It’s also the fifth anniversary of the publication of The Utility of Boredom. That one was a coincidence, but it’s still worth noting. Regarding the former, there have been some developments—articles, appearances, etc.—that I’ll endeavour to round up here:
- The Walrus (“Canada’s Conversation”) features an excerpt of the book, “Why Home Runs Are Bad for Baseball” (from the essay “American Berserk”)
- I appeared on a recent episode of Justin McGuire’s Baseball By the Book podcast (listen to it here or anywhere you get your podcasts)
- For Baseball Prospectus, I mourned the passing of the New York-Penn League
- For the Pandemic Baseball Book Club, I interviewed Luke Epplin about his new book, Our Team: The Epic Story of Four Men and the World Series That Changed Baseball
- I answered a few questions about the book for the Pandemic Baseball Book Club’s newsletter
- Registration is now open for the virtual book launch presented by the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival and hosted by the estimable Sean Cranbury of the Real Vancouver Writers’ Series (April 25, 3:00 p.m. EST)
That’s it for now, but there’ll be a lot more stuff in the near future, including interviews and podcasts. Stay tuned.
“Graceland,” one of the dozen stories in Lands and Forests, is now available at the All Lit Up blog, along with a short interview, as part of their celebration of Short Story Month.
Baseball, like Whitman, gives me glimpses of what once was, scraps of history with varying degrees of relevance to the way we/they live now. Mostly it’s myth and symbol, lingering ideas and images that please but don’t do much to inform.
I answered some questions for the Ontario Media Development Corporation ahead of the Trillium Book Award presentation on June 22nd.
I’m the writer-in-residence at Open Book: Toronto for the month of May. Stop by often for posts on music, procrastination, baseball, and, I guess, writing.
To get into the swing of things I did Open Book‘s take on the Proust Questionnaire, and in the process learned a little something about myself (namely that I really don’t have answers to most of the questions on a Proust Questionnaire).
Thanks to Grace O’Connell and everyone at OB:T for the invitation, and apologies for all the damage I’m about to do to your esteemed brand.
I guess this is a good a place as any to admit that, despite what the cover says, the book doesn’t contain baseball essays; it contains personal essays that share the common theme of baseball.
— “A Baseball Conversation,” with Ben Nicholson-Smith, at All Lit Up
The music of Led Zeppelin is a thrilling, seductive, and ultimately dishonest reflection of an unreasonable form of masculinity.
— Over at The Town Crier, I answered Tyler Willis’s question about aging, identity, nostalgia, and Led Zeppelin as part of an “Omnibus Interview” of Puritan contributors who’ve released books in 2015. Big thanks to Tyler and all the Puritan braintrust for being so good to me and all authors whose work they continue to nurture and promote.
Fiction steps in when the precise truth of a thing is in some way narratively inconvenient to me…
I talked to rob mclennan about lilac bushes, Bergman, fiction vs. non-fiction, reading in public, and more. You can read it all right here.
I think hopelessness is a pervasive enough feeling among human beings—perhaps increasingly so, I’m not sure—but there’s certainly an extra element to it when you add isolation to the mix. Writing fiction about people in such circumstances is appealing because it can be a quieter space, a cleaner canvas on which to wreak your havoc.