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The Southpaw

Mark Harris

ISBN 10: 1258081911 / ISBN 13: 9781258081911
Published by Literary Licensing, LLC, 2011
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Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP89528006

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Southpaw

Publisher: Literary Licensing, LLC

Publication Date: 2011

Book Condition: Good

About this title


This is a story about coming of age in America by way of the baseball diamond. Lefthander Henry Wiggen, six foot three, 195 pounds, and the greatest pitcher going, grows to manhood in a righthanded world.

From his small-town beginnings to the top of the game, Henry finds out how hard it is to please his coach, his girl, the sports page and himself all at once. Written in Henry's own words, this exuberant, funny novel follows his course from bush league to the World Series.

"A great book, highly dramatic, colorful and absorbingly exciting." (Saturday Review)


"First off I must tell you something about myself, Henry Wiggen, and where I was born and my folks." The opening sentence of the first installment of Harris's majestic quartet of baseball-centered novels may not be as imprinted on the literary consciousness as "Call me Ishmael," but the true aficionados of sporting belles-lettres deemed it, right from its 1953 publication, a quality start. They are the words that introduced both Wiggen, one of the true all-star characters of postwar American fiction, and the story-telling device that is his memoir.

Wiggen, a big, burly lefthander who grew up halfway between New York and Albany, pitches as much with his head as his arm, and he tends to be somewhat out of synch with everyone around him--parents, teammates, coaches, even his girlfriend; no one has a grip on him. The novel traces the arc of his life from the small town where he grew up to his thrashing around the bush leagues to the spotlight that's on him every time he takes the mound for the fabled, fictional New York Mammoths. Through Wiggen, Harris takes the pulse of postwar America; what he finds is sometimes funny, sometimes disturbing, sometimes poignant, and always absorbing. Like a good pitch, Harris hurls a classic novel with considerable pace, plenty of movement, and a knack for artfully catching life's corners instead of powering its way obviously right down the pipe. --Jeff Silverman

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