Against Football (Melville House, $22.95) is Steve Almond’s 175-page journalistic rethinking of America’s (and his own) deeply rooted passion for a sublimely destructive sport. Almond is a lifelong Raiders fan who has put up with decades of disappointment for the compensations of camaraderie with fellow devotees, including his father. But now he weighs the personal meaning the game has for him against the damning evidence of the leagues’ irresponsible treatment of the players. The NFL and team owners use these players to make billions of dollars, but deny the game has anything to do with the men’s brain damage and short lifespans. The money-making machine we know as football in fact raises the stakes every year; since teams began threatening to leave cities for the highest bidder, a tactic that peaked in the ‘90s, owners have extorted their communities for two decades now. Almond also outlines the role of high school and college programs in young men’s permanent brain damage, the evidence for which has been documented in studies conducted over the course of a single season. Given football’s many negatives, Almond still struggles to balance its destructiveness with the valuable communal bonds it fosters.

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
ISBN: 9781612194158
Availability: Hard to Find
Published: Melville House - August 26th, 2014

Against Football: One Fan's Reluctant Manifesto Cover Image
$15.95
ISBN: 9781612194912
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Melville House - August 18th, 2015

Mukasonga relates a school year leading up to the early stages of Rwandan genocide at the country’s most prestigious boarding school for girls. Readers get a glimpse of the country’s elite through their daughters’ teenaged eyes, which complicates questions of blame and sympathy. As a nod to oral traditions, much of the country’s background and folklore is related through anecdotal dialogue, with characters often speaking for pages, while the girls find themselves in more and more precarious situations, learning more and more about the country’s inevitable fate. The overall effect is enchanting but devastating.

Our Lady of the Nile: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9780914671039
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Archipelago - September 16th, 2014

This brilliant book takes on society as the Civil War winds to a close, a gritty showcase of the initial struggle to integrate. At the center of the storm is the near-silent Tom, an autistic, blind, black piano prodigy. Scanned images and flyers from historical performances help readers imagine Blind Tom in his prime, but it's Jeffery Reynard Allen's poetic language and sparse form that sets the work apart. He creates beautiful images and vignettes that show how relationships and context, such as religion, dictate more of history than any singular figure.
Song of the Shank: A Novel Cover Image
$18.00
ISBN: 9781555976804
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Graywolf Press - June 17th, 2014

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