The Krzyzewskiville Tales

Overview

Recent Duke University graduate Aaron Dinin has produced an entertaining, imaginative look at Krzyzewskiville, the tent city named after Duke University's head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (Sha-shef-ski). A unique Duke tradition, Krzyzewskiville is used to determine which students are admitted into key games. Taking Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as his model, Dinin has created characters who narrate their semifictionalized tales—by turns reverent, bawdy, and ...

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The Krzyzewskiville Tales

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Overview

Recent Duke University graduate Aaron Dinin has produced an entertaining, imaginative look at Krzyzewskiville, the tent city named after Duke University's head men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski (Sha-shef-ski). A unique Duke tradition, Krzyzewskiville is used to determine which students are admitted into key games. Taking Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales as his model, Dinin has created characters who narrate their semifictionalized tales—by turns reverent, bawdy, and humorous—to enlighten readers about this cherished institution.

So the story begins. On a wintry night in Durham, North Carolina, writes Dinin, twelve students huddle under the meager protection of a nylon tent. They have little in common except the sacrosanct tradition that has brought them together for the past month. Before the sun next sets, they will anoint themselves in blue and white paint and enter nearby Cameron Indoor Stadium to worship at the altar of Blue Devils basketball. In the meantime, they abide in Krzyzewskiville.

A stranger enters the tent, a respected sportswriter, and suggests that the tenters pass the hours until the next tent check by telling stories of Krzyzewskiville. Like Chaucer’s pilgrims, the students compete to tell the best tale. They report on ribald tenting exploits, relate a dream in which Duke basketball players and coaches test a fan’s loyalty, debate the rationality of tenting as a way of allocating students’ tickets, and describe the spontaneous tent city that sprang up one summer when their beloved “Coach K” was offered a job elsewhere. This storytelling competition creates a loving portrait of the complex rules and tribal customs that make up the rich community and loyal fans that are Krzyzewskiville.

Mickie Krzyzewski, Coach K’s wife and a familiar courtside figure at Duke basketball games, has contributed a foreword praising the “love, commitment, and ownership” of the citizens of Krzyzewskiville.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“The following tales were inspired by Geoffrey Chaucer’s verse poem The Canterbury Tales, and, of course, the students of Duke University and their adventures in Krzyzewskiville. . . . Any reader who has experienced a night of personal checks at Krzyzewskiville might ask himself, Would a group of students actually sit down and tell stories about K-ville while 1,200 screaming, laughing college kids run around nearby? That, of course, doesn't really happen . . . or at least it hasn’t in my experience. Granted, a few such stories have been passed along over the years, but never in such detail and never in such a setting. However, I’ll ask my readers to suspend disbelief for a few pages in the interest of a good story—or twelve.”—Aaron Dinin, from the preface

“This inventive and enlightening romp through the wintertime tent city on the Duke campus is like a trip back in time. You’ll find yourself in college again, taking Anthro 101 and Chaucer and letting ACC basketball run your life.”—Alexander Wolff, senior writer, Sports Illustrated

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780822336334
  • Publisher: Duke University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2005
  • Pages: 296
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 7.26 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

An Atlanta native, Aaron Dinin completed The Krzyzewskiville Tales before receiving his B.A. in English from Duke University in 2005. Dinin, who was indifferent to sports before coming to Duke, tented in Krzyzewskiville for two years, and as a senior he was a line monitor, one of the most powerful positions in Duke student fandom. When not in class, in a tent, or cheering for the Blue Devils in Cameron Indoor Stadium, he worked on a scholarly project to analyze the manuscripts of Walt Whitman, played viola with the Dulcedo Quartet, and provided campus tours for prospective students with the Blue Devil Guides. The Krzyzewskiville Tales is Dinin’s first book—but surely not his last.

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Table of Contents

The captain 25
The engineer 38
The sociology major 54
The public policy major 66
The freshman 81
The economics major 93
Interruption to the storytelling competition 110
Aaron 114
The women's studies major 135
The pre-med student 146
The math major's tale 176
The pre-law student 191
The English major 206
Crazie talk : a glossary
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