Friday, May 28, 2010

Frank Deford and BLISS, REMEMBERED in The Wall Street Journal

Frank Deford, fresh off his appearance at Book Expo yesterday, gets some attention from The Wall Street Journal: "Did we just say "Mr. McEnroe"? Apologies to Frank Deford. The veteran sportswriter recently needled the Journal for using the courtesy titles Mr. and Ms. in its sports pages. "There are no misters in sport," he said, noting that well-known figures in the sports world nowadays are even referred to by their first names or nicknames, like Kobe and A-Rod. Point taken, Frankie D.! We'll keep that in mind while discussing your novel "Bliss, Remembered" (Overlook, July). Good old Deford Fairlane takes his readers back to the 1936 Berlin Olympics in this tale of a young woman named Sydney Stringfellow, an American swimmer who falls in love with a German at the Games, but the romance that doesn't survive the politics of the day. The Defordable One has devised the story as Sydney's late-in-life memories of the affair, of her eventual marriage to an American and her lingering affection for her German lover. The author knows plenty about the Berlin Games, having written a classic Sports Illustrated piece in 1986 about filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics she immortalized at Hitler's behest. Much Defordian work over the years, in fact, now constitutes for readers a sort of bliss remembered. Here's hoping El Franko has done it again. El Franko? Frankie D.? The Defordable One? Oh, WSJ-by-Murdoch, so playful."

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