cover image The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

W. P. Kinsella. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), $0 (310pp) ISBN 978-0-395-38952-2

On the day he met his true love, a carnival performer named Darling Maudie, Matthew Clarke was literally struck by lightning and magically imbued with the knowledge that in 1908 the Chicago Cubs had traveled to Onamata, Iowa, to play a seemingly endless game against an all-star amateur team, the Iowa Baseball Confederacy. He spends the rest of his life trying to prove this fact to the worldeven writing a dissertation on itbut no one else remembers the Confederacy or the game. When Matthew commits an imaginative suicide (by allowing himself to be hit by a stray line drive), his son Gideon, the hero of this tale, inherits his father's obsession. With the help of an old family friend who has a glimmer of memory of the game, Gideon and a friend, Stan, travel back through time to 1908, to witness the event and to learn about the mysterious forces that caused a memory lapse in those who witnessed it. In his first novel since Shoeless Joe, Kinsella returns to the magical turf he created there: a loving mixture of baseball, life and fantasy, in a world where dreams don't have to come true, because they have a validity all their own. (April 7)