A Farewell to Arms, Legs, and Jockstraps: A Sportswriter’s Memoir

Diane K. Shah. Red Lightning, $24 (256p) ISBN 978-1-68435-115-2
Former sportswriter Shah (Relentless) hilariously chronicles her experiences in the good old boys’ world of sports reporting beginning in the late 1960s with the National Observer. Sexism was rampant, she recalls, and overt racism par for the course. Shah shares colorful moments throughout her career, among them asking her hero, Mickey Mantle, what he liked to hunt, to which he replied, “pussy.” In 1981, she became the first female sports columnist in the country for a daily newspaper—the Los Angeles Herald Examiner. She recalls big interviews with legendary athletes such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, but Shah makes clear that it’s not all fun and games: a feud with Paul Newman carried on for years after she reported on his son’s death (“The story may have been the nicest one I ever wrote. But it pleased no one”), and NBA star Larry Bird, after Shaw wrote about his father’s suicide, said he’d spit in her face if he ever saw her again. Eventually, Shah became “just one of the guys” while blazing a trail for female sports reporters. Shah’s earnest and witty memoir serves as an astute look into the world of sports journalism. (Apr.)
Reviewed on : 01/30/2020
Release date: 04/28/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
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