In The Art of Fielding, we see young men who know that their four years on the baseball diamond at Westish College are all that remain of their sporting careers. Only their preternaturally gifted fielder, Henry Skrimshander, seems to have the chance to keep his dream – and theirs, vicariously – alive, until a routine throw goes disastrously off course, and the fates of five people are upended.
After his throw threatens to ruin his roommate Owen’s future, Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his; while Mike Schwartz, the team captain and Henry’s best friend, realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. Keeping a keen eye on them all, college president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, falls unexpectedly and dangerously in love, much to the surprise of his daughter, Pella, who has returned to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.
Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warm-hearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment – to oneself and to others.
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‘Reading The Art of Fielding is like watching a hugely gifted young shortstop: you keep waiting for the errors, but there are no errors. First novels this complete and consuming come along very, very seldom.’ Jonathan Franzen
‘Chad Harbach’s The Art of Fielding is one of those rare novels – like Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh or John Irving’s The World According to Garp – that seems to appear out of nowhere, and then dazzles and bewitches and inspires, until you nearly lose your breath from the enjoyment and satisfaction, as well as the unexpected news-blast that the novel is very much alive and well.’
‘I gave myself over completely and scarcely paused for meals. Like all successful works of literature The Art of Fielding is an autonomous universe, much like the one we inhabit although somehow more vivid.’
‘Compulsively readable’ Literary ReviewAbout the Author:
Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin, and graduated from Harvard in 1997. He was a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where he received an MFA in Fiction in 2004. He is currently the Executive Editor of n+1, which he co-founded, and lives in Brooklyn.
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Book Description Fourth Estate, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice. Bookseller Inventory # 000667
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. Hardcover. Book Condition: Brand New. In Stock. Bookseller Inventory # zk0007374445
Book Description Fourth Estate, London, 2012. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition. A fine unread 1st impression in a fine dustwrapper, Signed and dated (June 3, 2012) by the Author on the title page. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 007443