What’s new on the Okie Bookshelf ?
Kate Buford has just written what is being called “the first comprehensive biography” of Jim Thorpe. It’s thick with 479 pages, well documented with plenty of footnotes, and getting substantially good reviews. Oklahoma Native American writer, N. Scott Momaday has the following comments on the Thorpe biography, ” As an athlete, Jim Thorpe was a force of nature. His achievements, across the board, remain unsurpassed. For many years we have needed a fair and comprehensive story of his life. Now we have it. Kate Buford’s biography of Thorpe is a first-rate example of the genre. She has written–with clarity, insight, objectivity, and inspiration–a definitive work. Here is an evocation of triumph and tragedy, and a uniquely American story.”
Tweeted Kate and found out that there’s an exhibit at the Muskogee Public Library on Native American sports figures from Oklahoma.
Another woman writing on Oklahoma sports legends is Jane Leavy in her new book The Last Boy: Mickey Mantle and the End of America’s Childhood. It just became a finalist for the 2010 CASEY Award for the Best Baseball Book of the Year.
“Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author’s weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983, after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family of the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League’s Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth’s home run crown in the summer of 1961—the same boy who would never grow up.”—Harper Collins Publisher
Two Oklahoma sports legends who embodied everything that is great in sports, and everything that can be lost. Sports biographers, Buford and Leavy don’t stop with the stats and the accolades, they give us the real people behind the numbers.