The Art of Fielding

As much as I try to avoid the big hype books (until the hype is long dead, at least), I’ve made an exception for the current literary darling.

I first heard of THE ART OF FIELDING when, late on a Friday night, AmyG directed me to an article in the latest Vanity Fair she called “writer porn.”  And jesus people, who among us can pass up writer porn?

AmyG was right.  If you haven’t read this long and detailed piece about how THE ART OF FIELDING came to be, stop reading this post and get ye straight to the magazine and read Keith Gessen’s phenomenal essay.  (in the print magazine only, sorry)  I’ve never read a better, more detailed and intriguing drama about how a book was written, re-written, discovered, agented, edited, negotiated, sold, marketed and, finally, set out into the world.

The writer, Chad Harbach, is also a co-founder and editor of N+1, one of my favorite lit mags.  Here’s an 8 minute review on NPR’s All Things Considered.  Chad wrote this book long-hand; he says he finds writing on the screen paralyzing.  There’s a thought.  He’s got me thinking, this Chad Harbach character, thinking about baseball and expectations and writing and success and MOBY-DICK and tragedy and secrets and long sagas and the art of great story telling.

Who wants to read this with me?  

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12 thoughts on “The Art of Fielding

  1. amyg

    i’m in.

    i bought ariel dorfman’s but haven’t started it yet. what’s one more book?

    (my favorite part of the article was the “it took chad ten years to write it” not that i should let that be my takeaway, but it does make me feel better.)

    1. Teri

      My favorite part was how the agent, Chris Parris-Lamb, was having a bad day, bad weekend, and not in the mood, and then read this manuscript and couldn’t stop reading it. And then, how badly Mr. Parris-Lamb wanted to represent this book, and he was worried that Chad would take his book elsewhere. It cured a little of my jaded, writerly heart. And I thank him.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    I followed your link but I ended up at a snippet of the novel, not the article. What am doing wrong? I’d love to join you but this month I’m consumed with A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking. I’m only a few pages in and I already know it’s going to a killer to get through.

  3. Lyra

    I remember hearing about this book when it first sold! It’s supposed to be amazing.
    I’m out on the book club. For the first time in my life, I have three books going simultaneously and I hate it. I don’t know how people do it. I have to finish them so I can get back to normalcy and thinking of that I need to pick up the Lacuna, you’ve been raving about.
    I want that one to be next.

  4. Downith

    I’m out – just started The Imperfectionists last night and like Lyra, trying to be a one book at a time woman these days. Also like Lyra wanting to finally get to The Lacuna… and maybe write a bit!

    But in theory, in the future, the idea of us reading the same book at the same time? Awesome.

  5. Averil Dean

    I’d love to be in, but I’m on a mission to finish this first draft before I crack open another book that might distract me (or make me think of tossing my laptop into the bathtub).

    Next time. For now I’ll eavesdrop.

  6. Teri

    Sorry everybody! While I’d love it if you all really did read this with me, I really meant “who’s already going to read this?” I hope you’re into something great that you’ll recommend to me!

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