Van Buren Books, 9780986247415, 324pp.
Publication Date: March 10, 2015
Winner of the 2016 IPPY Gold Medal for Contemporary Fiction
"Philip Beard's Swing is a novel to be savored." -Sara Gruen, New York Times bestselling author of Water for Elephants and Ape House
John Kostka is three feet tall but larger than life, moving through the world on gloved hands and powerful arms as if on a set of parallel bars. Henry Graham is a ten year-old boy whose father has just left home for good. When the two meet at a downtown bus stop, all they seem to have in common is their love of the 1971 Pittsburgh Pirates. But that is enough to begin a life-long friendship that, eventually, enables both men to confront old enemies and heal old wounds. Philip Beard's third and most accomplished novel swings between two narratives the way John Kostka swings through life. The result is a multifaceted meditation on childhood heroes, the beauty of baseball and the power of love to heal a family in crisis.
"Like Chad Harbaugh in The Art of Fielding, Philip Beard uses baseball as a lens to view love and loss. Swing is a generous, heartfelt novel filled with imperfect characters worth loving, and a valentine to Pittsburgh and the great Pirate teams of Maz and Clemente." -Stewart O'Nan, award-winning author of Faithful and Emily Alone