The Utility of Boredom – Book Trailer from PRIMITIVE REPLICA on Vimeo.
From Primitive Replica, here’s the trailer for the baseball book. They approached me shortly after Utility was published and said they wanted to turn it into a short film/trailer. I watched a few of their videos and then said yes without reservation. It was wonderful to work with Sean and Henry, and I couldn’t be happier with the results (except for the part where they captured that flat-footed swing of mine, which clearly demonstrates that when it comes to the ballplayer-vs-writer question, I chose the right path). Follow the link to watch the rest of their stuff, and if you’re a creative enterprise in need of a video of some sort (in and around Toronto), consider contracting their services. They’re smart, professional, and collectively they have a great eye.
As for the trailer, I’d be grateful if you’d share it if/as you see fit.
(And yes, that is a 1951 Minneapolis Millers jersey I’m wearing in the batting cage, with Willie Mays’ number on the back. That’s from Ebbets Field Flannels.)
Great news: The Utility of Boredom is now available in a French edition — De l’utilité de l’ennui — from the Montreal-based publisher Les éditions de ta mère. The book was translated by Daniel Grenier and William S. Messier, and will be officially published on September 25th.
“Horses,” a story originally published in May of 2016 by Found Press, is now available as a limited edition, hand-bound chapbook, lovingly crafted by FP founder Bryan Ibeas. Head to his Etsy store to order a copy, and while you’re at it pick up chapbooks written by the likes of Seyward Goodhand, Liz Harmer, Grace O’Connell, Kirsty Logan, Kathryn Mocker, Matt Cahill, and others.
I’ll be at Hunter Street Books in Peterborough from 11:00 AM until about noon to celebrate Authors for Indies 2017 on Saturday, April 29. Come in and say hello. Buy books. Support independent booksellers.
Loveless, motherless, we were submerged beneath cartoonish desires to be the men we thought we could have been whe we were nineteen and twenty-two. But at thirty and thirty-three we weren’t, and it likely had never been possible. That’d been someone’s joke.
— “Emmylou,” new fiction for Maisonneuve
The American culture industry was shipping out products like White Christmas with reliable regularity— trifles made not without some care and craft, but generally with little eye toward longevity, and certainly no expectation that they become time capsules of the era’s subcutaneous anxiety. But some, including White Christmas, were dipped in the waters of dread, and they still bear the mark.
— On White Christmas and the Great America that never was, for Sinkhole Magazine
Mark Kingwell will be in Peterborough on March 22nd to discuss his new book, Fail Better: Why Baseball Matters. I’ll be on hand to host the event and lead the conversation. Free event, all welcome.
The numbers jumped. Why deny it? When, in 1991, MLB awarded Denver a franchise, set to begin play in ’93, it was certainly not a surprise to baseball’s braintrust to learn that the city’s elevation would have an ameliorative effect on the flight of baseballs. That might even have been the point…. But, like performance-enhancing substances, thin air won’t turn nothing into something. Larry Walker, as his pre- and non-Denver numbers attest, could hit.
— “Larry Walker Belongs in Cooperstown,” for VICE Sports Canada
Throughout Code’s work, characters—usually young males—latch onto codices, texts or cultural relics out of the past in order to graft some measure of meaning onto their lives. They go in search of designs for living and often find them in unusual places. It might be chess, or music, or, as in the case of Code’s 2010 Journey Prize winning story, “Uncle Oscar,” croquet. His characters are in search of totems as well as shibboleths—that is, proof of their own identity, and a means of locating others who share their beliefs.
— I reviewed Devon Code’s novel, Involuntary Bliss, for the Literary Review of Canada