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ANCIENT GREEKS AND MODERN YANKS CONTRIBUTE TO FINE BASEBALL FICTION
Jonathan Yardley
May 21, 1979
"The whole history of baseball," Bernard Malamud has said, "has the quality of mythology." Indeed it does, with its legendary heroes, epic contests and ineradicable statistics, and few writers have used it more fruitfully than Malamud himself. His first novel, The Natural, published in 1952, is a classic of baseball fiction with heavy, but scarcely solemn, mythic overtones. Leaving aside its considerable intrinsic merit, the novel would be important if for no other reason than that it was the first to demonstrate that baseball can produce fiction that transcends mere entertainment.
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May 21, 1979

Ancient Greeks And Modern Yanks Contribute To Fine Baseball Fiction

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The selection of pieces is authoritative and comprehensive. All one hopes to find in any collection on baseball fiction is here, from H. Allen Smith's "Rhubarb" to James Thurber's "You Could Look It Up" to Irwin Shaw's "Voices of a Summer Day." So, too, are selections that reveal Holtzman's critical discernment: excerpts, for example, from novels by Mordecai Richler, John Sayles and Robert Coover. I suspect that Fielder's Choice will find its way not merely into the libraries of baseball fans but also onto the reading lists of courses in American literature.

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