I was so looking forward to hearing about The Man Game by Lee Henderson, especially since the launch of this, his second book, was part of the first week of a new season of This is Not a Reading Series. I had such a great time last year at Pages Books’ not-readings that I positively bounced as I entered the Gladstone Hotel Ballroom.
The art of various kinds all over the walls really captured the attention, since the ballroom walls are usually bare for these events. But I’d heard two things about the upcoming evening, one being that art relating to the book would be featured. And the other…
Well, interviewer Nathan Whitlock (Books for Young People editor at Quill & Quire) put it best. He said that as a writer’s second book, the industry often looks for a “sprawling historical epic.” And perhaps they got it, in The Man Game, except “the sprawling has mainly to do with male nude wrestling.”
Yep. That was the other thing I’d heard: that the book was about a rough and tumble game dreamed up by a woman in late 1880s Vancouver, where men released their aggression by engaging in a strange naked dance/game in the streets. Naturally I wanted to learn more. Wouldn’t you?
The problem was…we didn’t, really.