Nominated by:

Pikes Peak Library District, Colorado Springs, USA

Denver Public Library, USA

Houston Public Library, USA

Kansas City Public Library, USA

Free Library of Philadelphia, USA

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, USA

Multnomah County Library, Portland, USA

De Bib Leuven, Belgium

San Francisco Public Library, USA

Publisher of nominated edition:

Fourth Estate, UK

Little, Brown & Company, USA

The Art of Fielding

Chad Harbach    

2013 Longlist

A wonderful, warm novel from a major new American voice.

Henry Skrimshander, newly arrived at college, shy and out of his depth, has a talent for baseball that borders on genius. But sometimes it seems that his only friend is big Mike Schwartz – who champions the talents of others, at the expense of his own. And Owen, Henry’s clever, charismatic, gay roommate, who has a secret that could put his brilliant college career in jeopardy.

Pella, the 23-year-old daughter of the college president, has returned home after a failed marriage, determined to get her life in order. Only to find her father, a confirmed bachelor, has fallen desperately in love himself.

Then, one fateful day, Henry makes a mistake – misthrows a ball. And everything changes…

(From Publisher)

About the Author

Chad Harbach grew up in Wisconsin, and graduated from Harvard in 1997. He was a Henry Hoyns Fellow at the University of Virginia, where he received an MFA in Fiction in 2004. He is currently the Executive Editor of n+1, which he co-founded, and lives in Brooklyn.

Librarians’ Comments

Wonderful characterization. Lyrical prose, precise pacing – this first novel about the “great American pastime” is truly a great American story.

This is an expansive, warm-hearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment to oneself and to others.

The Art of Fielding is an engaging, coming of age story of five people whose paths cross and are forever changed by a single, wild throw in a college baseball game.

A delightful serious work exploring baseball, identity, redemption and the journey for a fulfilled life. Told with a deft combination of humour and heart.

Debut novel. Love, life, baseball.

Good old-fashioned storytelling of a confluence of crises – baseball, love, loss, grief – set in the cell phone era, spiced with literary references and lovable characters.

Harbach expertly brings together a number of stories in this evocative novel about life in a small Wisconsin town.

A big novel that feels spare, with a graceful and intimate storyline.

Warm, oh so American novel, a literary achievement as to style. Wonderful debut. Hard to put down.

Related Entries