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What Baseball Still Doesn’t Get About Injury and Mental Health

This assertion that players are people, vulnerable like anyone else, is a tough one for sports culture to accept. Yet mental health is as much a part of an athlete’s ability to perform as any other aspect of their well being. And while these leagues are, of late, making clearer attempts to protect players from injuries that have a direct link to the function of their minds—the MLB’s approval of pitchers’ protective caps; NFL rules preventing helmet-first hits to the head and neck; the NHL outlawing head-aimed body checks—they continue to fall short when it comes to addressing the more nuanced relationships between performance, injury, and mental health.

Read the whole essay over at Hazlitt.

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Infidelity reviewed in the Daily Herald Tribune

“There is a sense of urgency to the book, as the reader wonders what will happen to Ronnie, Charlie and their partners. As the affair escalates, both partners become more frantic and needy. Fowles’ storytelling forces the reader to ask why people come together, and what makes them stay or leave. And yet, there’s the uncertainty of the whole thing and the many questions raised. One knows that this story cannot end well.

On first glance, Infidelity may seem to be a common, simple story about an affair. However, the nuances of the story, its themes and the freshness Fowles brings to the ideas, make her book incredibly captivating.”

Infidelity reviewed in Publishers Weekly

“When Ronnie meets the older Charlie, a writer whose professional success has done little to mitigate his insecurities, the attraction is mutual; neither one can resist the temptation to push back against the constraints of domesticity. What follows is an affair as heated as it is predictably doomed, a series of covert assignations leading inevitably towards revelation and transformation, recriminations and for some, escape. No matter how eagerly Charlie kids himself, Ronnie is no manic pixie dream girl, and as desirable as liberation from the loathsome Aaron is for Ronnie, the course she and Charlie choose is self-indulgent, irresponsible, and cruel with little concern shown for the consequences to the innocents affected by the affair.”

Read the review here.

Boy Next Door: Growing up in the shadow of Paul Bernardo

Over at The Walrus, a memoir on growing up in the time of The Scarborough Rapist.

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“Every child in my neighbourhood knows about rape, because it is everywhere and has been for years. It lurks at bus stops and calls from headlines, whispers its way into half-understood playground conversations, screams from the six o’clock news as my parents usher me away from the TV set in the rec room. For three years, a man, known only as the Scarborough Rapist, has been stalking and assaulting young women. He has been following them from bus stops, attacking them brazenly in public spaces. The neighbourhood marinates in its own fear and paranoia, and hungrily consumes the media-driven suspicion and helplessness.”

Read the piece here.

“The affair – seduction, desire, heartache – can overturn a life. Stacey May Fowles’s third novel, Infidelity, recounts an affair, but it is also a twisting exploration of that ‘life,’ the one that came before the affair, the life so painful to dismantle because it, too, was built on hope and trust. ‘Maybe I’m here,’ a young woman, Ronnie, tells her married lover, ’so I can help you live your life better.’”

–Madeleine Thien, The Globe and Mail

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“I first read (Infidelity) in 2011 in an early draft. What surprises me about it today is that much of what was powerful then is somehow more so now, and also how much nuance, sadness, and beauty has been added to it since I first read it. In one sense, it’s a simple story about two people. But in a much bigger sense, it’s a book about impossibility: the impossibility of our dreams, the impossibility of love, and, one hopes, the impossibility of those exact impossibilities.”

-Jared Bland, Globe and Mail Books Editor