cover image Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me

Baseball Life Advice: Loving the Game That Saved Me

Stacey May Fowles. McClelland and Stewart (Penguin Random, dist.), $18 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-0-7710-3871-6

Fowles (Infidelity) writes, “There is no real template for loving baseball when you’re a girl or a woman, so you have to fumble around a bit to make it your own.” But with this collection of essays, she has created that very blueprint. By bringing a fresh voice to an old, staid game, everything seems new again: father-son bonding becomes daddy-daughter time; macho retribution, long a part of baseball, is scorned as a huge turnoff; old myths that women are only there to swoon over the players are overturned, but so is the double standard that a female fan can’t express her appreciation for “the obviously aesthetically pleasing on-field show” without being dismissed as a “cleat-chaser.” Fowles broaches some dark topics, including spousal abusers being allowed back into major-league baseball, and how baseball helped her through the toughest of times, including those marked by sexual assault, depression, and infertility. The book deftly counters the “inherent loneliness of being a female fan.” Fowles writes unabashedly as a fan of “our” Toronto Blue Jays, but fans anywhere will relate to her love of the ballpark as her “favorite place in the world.” Agent: Samantha Haywood, Transatlantic. (Apr.)