The Art of Fielding

Author(s): Chad Harbach


A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice. In THE ART OF FIELDING, we see young men who know that their four years on the baseball diamond at Westish College, "a little school in the crook of the thumb of the baseball glove that is Wisconsin," are all they have left 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 OwenâÂÂs future, HenryâÂÂs fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his; Mike Schwartz, the team captain and HenryâÂÂs best friend, realizes he has guided HenryâÂÂs career at the expense of his own; college president Guert Affenlight, a long-time widower, falls unexpectedly and dangerously in love; and his daughter, Pella, returns 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.' 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 "The Novel of the Month Season Year!. Riveting![The Art of Fielding] emerges fully formed, a world unto itself. Harbach writes with a tender, egoless virtuosity!There's just something so easy and riveting about the way this book's layers unfold; not since Lonesome Dove have I been so sorry to let a group of characters go." --Andres Corsello, GQ "[The Art of Fielding] is not only a wonderful baseball novel--it zooms immediately into the pantheon of classics, alongside The Natural by Bernard Malamud and The Southpaw by Mark Harris--but it's also a magical, melancholy story about friendship and the coming of age that marks the debut of an immensely talented writer!Mr. Harbach has the rare abilities to write with earnest, deeply felt emotion without ever veering into sentimentality, and to create quirky, vulnerable and fully imagined characters who instantly take up residence in our hearts and minds! He has written a novel that is every bit as entertaining as it is affecting!.You don't need to be a baseball fan to fall under this novel's spell, but THE ART OF FIELDING possesses all the pleasures that an aficionado cherishes in a great, classic game: odd and strangely satisfying symmetries, unforeseen swerves of fortune, and intimations of the delicate balance between individual will and destiny that play out on the field." --Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Chad Harbach makes the case for baseball, thrillingly, in his slow, precious and altogether excellent first novel!. It seems a stretch for a baseball novel to hold truth and beauty and the entire human condition in its mitt, well THE ART OF FIELDING isn't really a baseball novel at all, or not only. It's also a campus novel and a bromance (and for that matter a full-fledged gay romance), a comedy of manners and a tragicomedy of errors!Welcome to the big leagues, kid. Now get out there and play." -- Gregory Cowles, The New York Times Book Review "Charming!Watchers of Friday Night Lights will be at home in Harbach's generously told novel!But there's also much more here to interest readers of the contemporary literary novel!.The main order of business here is to entertain, and in this Harbach succeeds." -- Wyatt Mason, The New Yorker

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.

General Fields

  • : 9780007374441
  • : HarperCollins Publishers
  • : Fourth Estate Ltd
  • : 0.825
  • : November 2011
  • : 240mm X 159mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : February 2012
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Chad Harbach
  • : Hardback
  • : 813.6
  • : 450