Sports + Literature = Sports Literature?

The task of devising the curriculum for “Sports Literature” was not this writer’s but that of a friend who teaches high school English and who had recently been given his slate of classes for the next fall’s semester. Because I’ve been out of the business of teaching books for a couple of years now, the best I could muster in the circumstances was intellectual curiosity. What, I wondered, to teach in such a course? And with what consequences? Some obvious suggestions—Bernard Malamud’s The Natural and Don Delillo’s End Zone—presented themselves with an initial incandescence of excitement that…

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