Nović: America’s Enduring Pastime: Baseball, Misogyny, and Reading ‘The Natural’

From Sara Nović at Literary Hub on October 24, 2017:

These days fiction and baseball are both my dessert and my meat and potatoes. With an appetite for books almost as insatiable as Roy Hobbs’s capacity for eating steak, I read and write—sometimes about the Mets, even—for a living. Once a month, I take the 7 train out to Citi Field with a notebook to write and watch the sun set, and the planes land, and the Mets lose. The game still calms me like it did when I was small, steadies my pen.

So if such a thing as a “target audience” for fiction can exist, on paper I’m a one-woman bullseye for Bernard Malamud’s The Natural. I’d long ago devoured Malamud’s The Fixer and Rembrandt’s Hat, and though my own Mets weren’t yet a twinkle in Major League Baseball’s eye upon the novel’s publication in 1952, the fictional New York Knights sure do slide right into my soft spot reserved for the bumbling underdog.

The Natural follows the rise and fall of baseball star and titular character Roy Hobbs. The novel opens on a young Hobbs traveling try out for the Cubs, but his life is derailed when he is shot in the stomach by the temptress Harriet Bird, who has a taste for killing star athletes.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: October 25, 2017. Last Updated: October 25, 2017.