The Silent Season of a Hero
The Sports Writing of Gay Talese
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One of America's most acclaimed writers and journalists, Gay Talese
has been fascinated by sports throughout his life. At age fifteen he
became a sports reporter for his Ocean City High School newspaper; four
years later, as sports editor of the University of Alabama's Crimson-White,
he began to employ devices more common in fiction, such as establishing
a "scene" with minute details-a technique that would later make him
Later, as a sports reporter for the New York Times,
Talese was drawn to individuals at poignant and vulnerable moments
rather than to the spectacle of sports. Boxing held special appeal, and
his Esquire pieces on Joe Louis and Floyd Patterson in decline won praise, as would his later essay "Ali in Havana," chronicling Muhammad Ali's visit to Fidel Castro. His profile of Joe DiMaggio, "The Silent Season of a Hero," perfectly
captured the great player in his remote retirement, and displayed
Talese's journalistic brilliance, for it grew out of his on-the-ground
observation of the Yankee Clipper rather than from any interview. More
recently, Talese traveled to China to track down and chronicle the
female soccer player who missed a penalty kick that would have won China
the World Cup.
Chronicling Talese's writing over more than six
decades, from high school and college columns to his signature adult
journalism- and including several never-before-published pieces (such as
one on sports anthropology), a new introduction by the author, and
notes on the background of each piece-The Silent Season of a Hero is a unique and indispensable collection for sports fans and those who enjoy the heights of journalism.
- Bloomsbury Publishing, October 2010
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