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Blog: Jan. 29, 2013

 

"This book has the kind of story that would translate well to film--especially if Penny Marshall were available to direct."

That's a comment about Drawing Card, my latest book, made by reviewer Scott D. Peterson, writing in the journal Arete, which covers baseball literature.

Peterson adds that the book makes "significant and surprising departures" from "the standard conventions of a baseball novel."  He calls it "a unique baseball novel" that includes some elements of a thriller and intrigue, one that will appeal to readers "weary of the bright--and masculine--side of the Horatio Alger story" as well as those interested in social history and gender issues.

Through flashbacks to ancient Sicily, explains Peterson, the book shows how the "sportive impulses of women have been systematically frustrated through history."

And that's the point of the book in a nutshell. The story of Annie Cardello Smith represents what can happen when a woman's desire to participate in her favorite sport becomes blocked by societal norms.

Back in the 1930s, the societal norm that blocked women from participating at a high level of baseball play was named Kenesaw Mountain Landis. He rejected the signed contracts of two women who had been signed by minor-league teams, and he did so just because they were female. Those rejected women went home politely, as women were supposed to in those days, and found some other sport to participate in. But Annie, the character I created, remained angry about her treatment and decided that she would do something about it.

Every era of history contains some women who refuse to accept their discrimination complacently. Their resentment builds up until they just have to do something to strike back at their tormentors. Annie is one of those women.

And her story makes what Peterson calls "a unique baseball novel."

Read the entire review here.

 
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