The Great God Baseballby Allen E. Hye
Within the excellent, if underrated, body of adult baseball fiction that emerged in the latter half of the twentieth century, one finds a distinctive subgenre of baseball novels that feature the religious aspirations of their characters and the spiritual qualities of the game of baseball. The Great God Baseball looks at nine of these novels, including lesser known gems and established classics. It endeavors to make them more accessible to casual as well as serious readers, fans and non-fans alike, through discussion of key motifs, analysis of unique narrative structure, and frequent cross-references that locate the works in a literary context.
The Literary Line-Up includes: 1. Douglass Wallop, The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant (1954) 2. James F. Donohue, Spitballs and Holy Water (1977) 3. Jerome Charyn, The Seventh Babe (1979) 4. W. P. Kinsella, Shoeless Joe (1982) 5. Eric Rolfe Greenberg, The Celebrant (1983) 6. Nancy Willard, Things Invisible to See (1984) 7. W. P. Kinsella, The Iowa Baseball Confederacy (1986) 8. David James Duncan, The Brothers K (1992) 9. Darryl Brock, Havana Heat (2000)
The varied religious experiences portrayed in these superb novels stimulate us to engage our society, our national pastime, our own imagination, and our sense of spiritual awareness. From a literary encounter with the great game of baseball, we emerge, as if from a church, temple, or ball park, different, re-created people. The Great God Baseball seeks to be an agent for this encounter.
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