A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice.
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 of The Art of Fielding
- ‘It’s left a little hole in my life the way a really good book will’ Jonathan Franzen
- ‘This is an outstanding novel about sport and, in Henry Skrimshander, Harbach has created a character who will keep sports psychologists in conversation for years’ Mike Atherton, The Times
- ‘Charming, warm-hearted, addictive’ Guardian
- ‘Once started The Art of Fielding is a book you want to read and read. It is deliciously old-fashioned: it simply gets on with the business of creating vivid, layered characters and telling a good, engrossing story’ Daily Telegraph
- ‘An intricate, poised, tingling debut … leaves you longing, lingering, and a baseball convert long after the last page’ Téa Obreht, author of The Tiger’s Wife, winner of the Orange Prize
- ‘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
- Steeped in American tradition, this moving debut hits a home run…What in less skilled hands might have been a light comic novel evolves into a debut of great warmth and weight… This is a charming, moving and slyly profound novel. You might even say Chad Harbach hit this one out of the park’ Sunday Telegraph
- ‘Every bit as good as billed. A big, beautiful blowout of a book, sure and generous, it reads like a throwback to the mid-20th century, when American literature was in its pomp… an exceptional debut’ Guardian
- ‘A terrifically engaging novel… you will be rewarded by a page-turning, beguiling and wonderfully warm-hearted read’. Sunday Times
- ‘The baseball sequences are terrific… Harbach captures precisely the strangely becalmed grace that sets sportsmen like Henry apart…Very good indeed’ Independent