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Tennis and the Meaning of Life is a resplendent collection of the best fiction and poetry written about this extraordinary sport/obsession. The stories are hilarious and sad, whimsical and philosophical, lyrical and profane—and thoroughly saturated with the art of the game. Fathers play against sons. Business partners attempt mutual destruction by tennis. An amateur challenges the local pro. Contributors include Roger Angell, Irwin Shaw, Vladimir Nabokov, Ring Lardner, Beryl Bainbridge, Paul Theroux, Ellen Gilchrist, Wallace Stegner, William Trevor, E.B. White, Galway Kinnell, Jim Hall and even Bill Tilden.


“My only complaint is the title’s redundant.”

—David Foster Wallace


“Superb. . . . Although the book’s obvious appeal will be to people who know and care about the game, it will also be a delight—and perhaps a surprise—to those who know and care about literature.”

         —The New Yorker

“A lovely, gentle book . . . as refreshing as that first beer after a set of sweaty singles.”

         —The Boston Globe

“An eclectic and very imaginative anthology that should delight tennis’ more literate devotees.”


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