Cover image for Thrown
Title:
Thrown
Author:
Howley, Kerry.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Louisville, Kentucky : Sarabande Books, [2014]
Physical Description:
282 pages ; 20 cm
Summary:
""Thrown is Kerry Howley's masterful debut. A work of rigorous nonfiction that's sure to be branded experimental, but that's as involving and page-turning as any book I've read in a while." -Gary Shteyngart "Who can explain what draws a young brilliant writer-and a woman no less-to be mesmerized by the sight of a young man being pummeled in the ring? But out of this passion-maybe obsession-comes a great American story about overlooked heroes, the nature of violence, hope, love and nearly everything else that matters." -Hanna Rosin, author of The End of Men "Out of the dank basements and glitzy arenas of a brutal sport, Kerry Howley has created a story that is virtuous, rapturous, and utterly consequential. In language that's as daring as it is astute, she tells the story of two young guys from the middle of America, an overachiever and an underachiever, whom the world, it turns out, has equally little use for. It's a story we've read about a thousand times, and one we've seen nothing else like. This is a gloriously heartbreaking debut." -John D'Agata, author of The Lifespan of a Fact "Lyrical and brutal in its subject matter, the poetic voice within offers humor, heart, and grace from the first page and kept me in awe until the end. This is a powerful book reminiscent of Hemingway's early work." -Frank Bill, author of Crimes in Southern Indiana and Donnybrook In this darkly funny work of literary nonfiction, a bookish young woman insinuates herself into the lives of two cage fighters-one a young prodigy, the other an aging journeyman. Acclaimed essayist Kerry Howley follows these men for three years through the bloody world of mixed martial arts as they starve themselves, break bones, fail their families and form new ones in the quest to rise from remote Midwestern fairgrounds to packed Vegas arenas. With penetrating intelligence and wry humor, Howley exposes the profundities and absurdities of this American subculture. Kerry Howley's work has appeared in The Paris Review, New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, Slate, and frequently in Bookforum. She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program"--

"Acclaimed journalist Kerry Howley infiltrates the world of mixed martial arts and the lives of aspiring cage fighters. For three years, Howley follows these fighters as they tear ligaments and lose a third of their body mass to make weight, and is drawn deeply into this riveting culture of violence"--
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781936747924
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

In this darkly funny work of literary nonfiction, a bookish young woman insinuates herself into the lives of two cage fighters--one a young prodigy, the other an aging journeyman. Acclaimed essayist Kerry Howley follows these men for three years through the bloody world of mixed martial arts as they starve themselves, break bones, fail their families and form new ones in the quest to rise from remote Midwestern fairgrounds to packed Vegas arenas. With penetrating intelligence and wry humor, Howley exposes the profundities and absurdities of this American subculture.

Kerry Howley 's work has appeared in The Paris Review , New York Times Magazine , the Atlantic , Wall Street Journal , Slate , and frequently in Bookforum . She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa's Nonfiction Writing Program.



Author Notes

Kerry Howley: Kerry Howley's work has appeared in The Paris Review, The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic Monthly, The Wall Street Journal, Slate , and frequently in Bookforum . She holds an MFA from the University of Iowa, where she was an Arts Fellow and the Provost's Visiting Writer in Nonfiction.


Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Joyce Carol Oates wrote about boxing (On Boxing, 2009), joining Hemingway and others who also were entranced by the bloody art of hand-to-hand combat. Howley isn't just enamored, however. One night, she stumbled upon a mixed-martial-arts match and discovered that her thoughts could whip and whistle their way across the mind without the friction I'd come to experience as thought itself which she deems ecstatic experience. Suffice it to say, she likes to watch. Hence, she attaches herself as a spacetaker, accompanying two very different fighters Sean (older, with a child) and Erik (younger, more dedicated) and following their careers for three years. It's unclear who this book's audience is, those who hearken to such questions as, Where, I ask you, does the maenadic instinct still persist?, or those who pack the octagons mainly for the blood and the beer. Howley writes loftily of the unlofty almost hitting the far ends of both extremes and one gets the feeling that she enjoys the sound of her own voice more than she cares to acquire or impart information. Readers will find this either enrapturing or self-indulgent (or both).--Kinney, Eloise Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

This sui generis debut threatens to remap the entire genre of nonfiction. Howley, a philosophy student disillusioned by "academic apple-polishing," sets out on a quest to find the closest contemporary equivalent to Schopenhauer's concept of an ecstatic experience. She finds it, unexpectedly, in the world of mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighting. Howley becomes a "species of fighterly accoutrement known as a 'spacetaker,'?" ingratiating herself into the lives of two cage fighters: Sean Huffman, a smash-nosed, cauliflower-eared veteran with a legacy of losing but never getting knocked out, and Erik Koch, a young, lithe, apprentice-level beginner "destined for the big shows." Howley's brilliant prose is as dexterous and doughty as the fighters she trails, torquing into philosophy, parody, and sweat-soaked poetry. At times, the narrative is difficult to follow, while the contrast between her highbrow analysis and the aggressive MMA subculture can be disorienting. Her year-long immersion in the sport, however, proves as captivating as any blood-spattered spectacle. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.