In July 1966, Esquire published an essay on a retired Yankee whom sports fans persistently approached with the same question: “Who’s gonna take it this year, Joe?” The tables have turned in the last 40 years: The essay’s author, Gay Talese, is now the one answering questions—not about baseball but about his career in journalism. His latest book, The Silent Season of a Hero, is a comprehensive collection of his sports reporting dating back to his days at Ocean City High School. Talese reads like a sports fan reciting RBIs as he ticks off the number of cigarettes Joe DiMaggio smoked; the disintegration of DiMaggio’s union to Marilyn Monroe plays out like ringside boxing commentary. I’m expecting the same attention to detail in Talese’s upcoming book about his own marriage—it would come as no surprise if his wife, Nan, threw some punches of her own following the “research” Talese conducted for his 1981 book Thy Neighbor’s Wife.
TALESE SPEAKS AT 7 P.M. AT POLITICS AND PROSE, 5015 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 364-1919.