In a searing manifesto sure to enrage at least half the nation, New York Times bestselling author Steve Almond takes on America’s biggest sacred cow: football
On any given Sunday, football functions more like a national religion than a sport.
But simply put: the game isn’t good for us. Medical research confirms what the grim headlines keep reporting: football causes brain damage. Beloved Hall of Famers are now suffering from dementia, and taking their own lives. Children and teenagers are susceptible to the same sorts of injuries with the same long-term results.
But football’s psychological and economic hazards—though more subtle—are just as profound.
In Against Football, Steve Almond details why, after forty years as a fan, he can no longer watch the game he still loves. Using a synthesis of memoir, reportage, and cultural critique, Almond asks a series of provocative questions:
• What does it mean that our society has transmuted the intuitive physical joys of childhood—run, leap, throw, tackle—into a billion-dollar industry?
• How did a sport that causes brain damage become the leading signifier of our institutions of higher learning?
• Does our addiction to football foster a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and homophobia?
There has never been a book that exposes the dark underside of America’s favorite game with such searing candor.
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
*NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY*
***People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • *Entertainment Weekly • New York • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness
Includes an extended conversation with David Sedaris**
One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“The best book you’ll read this year.”**—*The New York Times Magazine*
“A feat of inventiveness … This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects… . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
“The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.”—Mary Karr, Time **
“A visceral and moving act of storytelling … No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times*
“Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.”—People
GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
In his first novel, Dave Eggers has written a moving and hilarious tale of two friends who fly around the world trying to give away a lot of money and free themselves from a profound loss. It reminds us once again what an important, necessary talent Dave Eggers is.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright’s powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Thirty years since its first publication in English, French philosopher Gaston Bachelard’s *The Poetics of Space *one of the most appealing and lyrical explorations of home. Bachelard takes us on a journey, from cellar to attic, to show how our perceptions of houses and other shelters shape our thoughts, memories, and dreams.
Tom Beaudoin’s Consuming Faith presents key questions about attempting to put our spirituality into practice by integrating who we are with what we buy Where do these products come from? Who made them and in what conditions do they work? How does what I buy affect others? What does my faith have to do with what I buy? When is enough, enough? Today, it is more important than ever to pay attention to our economic spirituality. Visit our website for sample chapters!
In this volume, W. H. Auden assembled, edited, and arranged the best of his prose writing, including the famous lectures he delivered as Oxford Professor of Poetry. The result is less a formal collection of essays than an extended and linked series of observations—on poetry, art, and the observation of life in general. The Dyer’s Hand is a surprisingly personal, intimate view of the author’s mind, whose central focus is poetry—Shakespearean poetry in particular—but whose province is the author’s whole experience of the twentieth century.
The loud debate between the New Atheists and defenders of traditional religion is beside the point for Howard Wettstein, in this plainly written, original study of the foundations of religious commitment. Wettstein sees religion—and specifically his own Jewish tradition—in a way that is at once new and Biblical. Wettstein is interested in the big questions. Among those in focus here: What is the role of religious experience in making sense of religious faith? What is the place of doctrine in the life of faith? How does the Bible’s concept of faith (*emunah) *differ from the philosopher’s notion of belief?