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The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
  

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Shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2012.

This wonderful, warm debut novel, from the American author Chad Harbach, has quite rightly become a word of mouth hit. It is bewitching and we challenge you not to be totally won over by the writing and sad when you realise you have finished the book.

FROM ARTICLE IN GUARDIAN 26TH NOV 2012. AUTHOR FAVOURITES OF 2012:
David Nicholls - 'This was the year I reset my alarm in an attempt to read more, and I'm delighted that I did. I loved Laurent Binet's smart, original HHhH (Harvill Secker) and, despite never having watched more than 30 seconds of baseball, thoroughly enjoyed Chad Harbach's funny, moving The Art of Fielding (Fourth Estate). Zadie Smith's NW was a fine London novel, Robert Macfarlane's The Old Ways sent me out on many long walks, and I was both amused and appalled by the anti-hero of Ben Lerner's Leaving the Atocha Station (Granta). I finally got round to Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dodd's A Monster Calls (Walker) and found it quite devastating.'

If you like Chad Harbach you might also like to read books by Michael Chabon, John Franzen and John Irving.

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Synopsis

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

Henry Skrimshander, newly arrived at college, shy and out of his depth, has a talent for baseball that borders on genius. But sometimes it seems that his only friend is big Mike Schwartz -- who champions the talents of others, at the expense of his own. And Owen, Henry's clever, charismatic, gay roommate, who has a secret that could put his brilliant college career in jeopardy. Pella, the 23-year-old daughter of the college president, has returned home after a failed marriage, determined to get her life in order. Only to find her father, a confirmed bachelor, has fallen desperately in love himself. Then, one fateful day, Henry makes a mistake -- misthrows a ball. And everything changes!

Reviews

'It's left a little hole in my life the way a really good book will'
Jonathan Franzen

'An intricate, poised, tingling debut. Harbach's muscular prose breathes new life into the American past-time, recasts the personal worlds that orbit around it, and leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page'
Tea Obreht, author of The Tiger's Wife, winner of the Orange Prize

'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.'
James Patterson

'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.'
Jay McInerney

'Chad Harbach has hit a game-ender with The Art of Fielding. It's pure fun, easy to read, as if the other Fielding had a hand in it -- as if Tom Jones were about baseball and college life.'
John Irving

About 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 Info

Publication date

1st April 2012

Author

Chad Harbach

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Publisher

Fourth Estate Ltd an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
528 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
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Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780007374458

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