A wonderful, warm novel from a major American voice.
‘It’s left a little hole in my life the way a really good book will’ Jonathan Franzen
A small American college. Five very different lives. One terrible mistake.
At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. His error will upend the fates of five people. Henry’s burgeoning self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight falls unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish, determined to start a new life.
As the season counts down to its climactic final game, all five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets.
‘The best debut novel I’ve read this year – assured, funny, poignant and deeply satisfying’ Evening Standard
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