Nicholas Dawidoff’s haunting memoir of his childhood in New Haven, Connecticut is a moving and richly realized family portrait. No doubt armed with the courage of his impressive successes as a writer (The Catcher Was a Spy and The Fly Swatter, a Pulitzer Prize finalist) and editor (Baseball : A Literary Anthology) Dawidoff confronts his personal history and brings the reader along to share unflinchingly in it. We meet the extraordinary people who influenced and shaped the writer and man this author has become: his valiant mother and her family, his brilliant, disturbed father and paternal grandmother, together with the ever present Boston Red Sox baseball team!
I had my own reasons for taking this book home- “Nicky”‘s mother was my high school English teacher [I recall fondly he and his sister Sally riding up and down the halls of the Day Prospect Hill School on their tricycle]. Each of Dawidoff’s descriptions of streets, sounds, people and places served as a kind of homecoming for me. The work is so beautifully drawn I’m certain it will be the same for any reader. Dawidoff’s many achievements from his “sufferings” are a triumph.