Brooklyn indie publisher Akashic Books is partnering with The Nation’s sports writer, David Zirin, to launch Edge of Sports Books, a new imprint devoted to sports titles with a progressive political slant.
The new imprint is named after Zirin’s column in the weekly publication. Edge of Sports Books will debut with two titles in 2016: Chasing The Water Dragon: A Tale of Talent, Turbulence and Transformation by Anthony Ervin and Constantine Markides, and Unsportsmanlike Conduct: College Football and the Politics of Rape by Jessica Luther. In Chasing the Water, Ervin, an Olympic swimmer who dropped out of competition in 2000, explores his return to the sport, a decade later, as a more competitive, and stronger, athlete. Luther's book is a close examination of an ongoing problems in elite sports: sexual assault.
Zirin, in addition to being a columnist, is also the author of a number of books, including Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down. He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC, and hosts the Edge of Sports radio Show on Sirius XM.
Akashic Books publisher Johnny Temple said Zirin will direct the new imprint, and acquire all titles. Temple said the time was right to launch a “progressive” imprint devoted to sports in American society, and that Zirin is one of the few "lefty writers" covering sports.
The imprint does not currently have a set number of titles planned and, although the first list isn't scheduled until 2016, Temple said he and Zirin are nonetheless "looking for topical books and things can pop up over night in this category.”
Zirin said titles published by Edge of Sports will show “the ways where sports and politics illuminate one another, to clarify and expand necessary discussions in the sports world as well as in the real world it inhabits.”