Synopses & Reviews
Growing up, Robert Lipsyte was the smart-aleck fat kid, the bully magnet who went to the library instead of the ballpark. As the perpetual outsider, even into adulthood, his alienation from Jock Culture made him a rarity in the press box: the sportswriter who wasn't a sports fan. This feeling of otherness has colored Lipsyte's sports writing for fifty years, much of it spent as a columnist for the New York Times. He didn't follow particular athletes or teams; he wasn't awed by the access afforded by his press pass or his familiarity with the players in the locker room.
The experience and insight earned over a half-century infuse An Accidental Sportswriter. Going beyond the usual memoir, Lipsyte has written "a memory loop, a circular search for lost or forgotten pieces in the puzzle of a life." In telling his own story, Lipsyte grapples with American sports and society—from Mickey Mantle to Bill Simmons—arguing that Jock Culture has seeped into our business, politics, and family life, and its definitions have become the standard to measure value. Full of wisdom and an understanding of American sports that contextualizes rather than celebrates athletes, An Accidental Sportswriter is the crowning achievement of a rich career and a book that will speak to us for years to come.
Celebrated sports journalist Robert Lipsyte—the New York Times longtime lead sports columnist—mines pure gold from his long and very eventful career to bring readers a memoir like no other. An enthralling book, as much about personal relationships and the culture of sports as the athletes and teams themselves, An Accidental Sportswriter interweaves stories from Lipsytes life and the events he covered to explore the connections between the games we play and the lives we lead. Robert Lipsyte has been there—from the Mets first Spring Training to the fight that made Muhammad Ali an international icon to the current steroids scandals that rewired our view of sports—and in An Accidental Sportswriter he offers a fresh and refreshing view of the world of professional athletes as seen through the eyes of a journalist who always managed to remain independent of our jock-obsessed culture.
About the Author
Robert Lipsyte was an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and the Emmy-winning host of the nightly public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of twelve acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in Manhattan and on Shelter Island, New York, with his wife, Lois, and his dog, Milo.