Sportswriter Cathal Kelly can't stop rereading his copy of The Sportswriter
Sportswriter Cathal Kelly is a longtime fixture at the Globe and Mail and the author of the coming-of-age memoir Boy Wonders. He says an abiding favourite for him is — appropriately — The Sportswriter by Richard Ford.
"When I first started reading The Sportswriter I would have been in my early twenties, working at a bookstore. The Sportswriter is, of course, about a sportswriter [Frank Bascombe] — though very little of it concerns sports. His life is in decline, he's separated from his wife, he's had a child die and he's reconsidering his place in the world. I went back to it again and again because I had a friend who was obsessed with it and we liked to talk about it, so I had to re-familiarize myself with it every once in a while. And eventually I realized that, in some small way, I had become Frank Bascombe. I was a sportswriter. I had not suffered his personal tragedies, but I had reached that point in my life where I was wondering what things were about. I now read it as a way of charting my own change. Which person am I going to every time I come back to Frank Bascombe and how will I react to him and his problems?"
Cathal Kelly's comments have been edited and condensed.