Innovative writer-reporter Gay Talese's non-traditional path to recognition and renown is a story in itself. His reporting career began at 15 when he submitted articles for his high school's athletic department to the local newspaper. They were so compelling, he landed a job.
In college and in his early writing as a sports reporter, he perfected the "new journalism" style he became known for. It infused non-fiction pieces with literary devices from fiction, including lots of colorful detail to set a scene and draw a picture of articles' subjects.
Talese broadened out beyond sports to write about many other subjects, and they brought him a great deal of recognition, and some criticism. His piece "Frank Sinatra Has a Cold" has been called "the best story Esquire (magazine) ever published." His books, among them "Honor Thy Father," about the Mafia and "Thy Neighbor's Wife," about sex, sparked both controversy and literary dialogue.
Though Talese's writing has tackled many subjects, sports seems to remain his first love. Luckily, for those who haven't had the chance to read his sports pieces, a new compilation,"The Silent Season of A Hero," (the title comes from his moving piece about Joe DiMaggio) has just been released. Better still, Gay Talese will talk about it and more at Wilton Library on November 16 at 7:30 p.m. The talk is free but reservations are recommended. For more information, visit the library's website .
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