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Extended Audio Sample An Accidental Sportswriter, by Robert Lipsyte Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Lipsyte Narrator: Robert Lipsyt Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A longtime sports columnist for the New York Times interweaves stories from his life and the events he covered to explore the relationships between the games we play and the lives we lead.

Growing up, Robert Lipsyte was the smart-aleck fat kid, the bully magnet who went to the library instead of the ballpark. As the perpetual outsider even into adulthood, Lipsyte’s alienation from Jock Culture made him a rarity in the press box: the sportswriter who wasn’t a sports fan. This feeling of otherness has colored Lipsyte’s sports writing for fifty years, much of it spent as a columnist for the New York Times. He didn’t follow particular athletes or teams; he wasn’t awed by the access afforded by his press pass or his familiarity with the players in the locker room. Between bouts at the Times, he launched a successful career writing young adult fiction, often about sports.

The experience and insight he earned over a half century infuse An Accidental Sportswriter. Going beyond the usual memoir, Lipsyte has written “a memory loop, a circular search for lost or forgotten pieces in the puzzle of a life.” In telling his own story, he grapples with American sports and society—from Mickey Mantle to Bill Simmons—arguing that Jock Culture has seeped into our business, politics, and family life, and its definitions have become the standard to measure value.

Full of wisdom and an understanding of American sports that contextualizes rather than celebrates athletes, An Accidental Sportswriter is the crowning achievement of a rich career and a book that will speak to us for years to come.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “This is a book for those who love sports and for those who don’t. It’s really about an era in American history, seen through the lens of its games. And unlike so many of the sportswriters who build their stories on suet, Lipsyte writes with grace and wit and candor.” 

    Tracy Kidder, author of the Pulitzer Prize–winning The Soul of a New Machine and Strength in What Remains.

  • “If accident is the greatest of all inventors, then fate did us all a solid in making Bob Lipsyte a sportswriter. By turns critical and self-critical, restless and rigorous, vigilant and clear-eyed, An Accidental Sportswriter documents fifty years of upheaval in the games we play and how we view them. With his original and iconoclastic voice, Lipsyte compels us to become not just fans but fans of conscience.” 

    Jane Leavy, author of The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood 

  • An Accidental Sportswriter [is Lipsyte’s] best work yet—graceful, moving without melodrama, funny, anecdotal, and superbly intelligent.” 

    Buzz Bissinger, author of Friday Night Lights and Three Nights in August

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About the Author

Robert Lipsyte is an award-winning sportswriter for the New York Times and was the Emmy-winning host of the public affairs show The Eleventh Hour. He is the author of a number of acclaimed novels for young adults and is the recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring his lifetime contribution in that genre. He lives in New York.