Losers: Dispatches from the Other Side of the Scoreboard

Edited by Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas. Penguin, $17 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-1431-3383-4
Pilon (The Monopolists), a former New York Times journalist, and New Yorker contributor Thomas (Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams) explore the significance losing and defeat has on the lives of athletes and fans in this thoughtful anthology that gathers works by 22 writers, both living and dead, including Gay Talese, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Bob Sullivan, and Louisa Hall. “Ultimately, these are stories about resilience, risk, inspiration, about being knocked down and getting up,” the editors observe about their selections. In “The Sporting House,” Charles Bock explores the drug-tarnished fortunes of 1980s NCAA basketball star Lloyd “Swee’pea” Daniels, who turns his life around and eventually plays in the NBA. In “The Peanut Vendor and the Curse,” Samuel Graham-Felsen, who worked as a peanut vendor at Boston’s Fenway Park, writes of his life of disappointment until the 2004 Red Sox World Series win. Pilon explores the up-and-down career of Michigan MMA promoter Scott DiPonio in “Tomato Can Blues.” Gay Talese, in his 1964 profile of boxer Floyd Patterson, examines the former champion’s view of the emotional toll after his recent defeat by Sonny Liston before stepping into the ring again. This is a stirring tribute to losing, one of life’s greatest teachers, the editors conclude. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 04/07/2020
Release date: 08/18/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-525-50563-1
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