Ping-Pong and the Art of Staying Alive
“Probably ‘The Sun Also Rises’ of Ping Pong, ‘Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins’ is filled with pleasures. The book deserves a long life.”
Jerome Charyn introduces us in this magical and quirky memoir to the fine art of Ping Pong, a sport and a state of mind. Henry Miller immortalised the game and transformed it into a spiritual exercise: “No other sport can engage in the same way, it allows you to dream, it is like being in a trance state”. Jerome Charyn gives it the touch of the human and turns it into the metaphor of life.
Ping Pong has never been the sport of the rich and famous, but its fascination and glory reaches every corner of the world, played by over 250 million people; here is the sound of the ball, the echo of the racquet, the players and the clubs, and basement tables frequented by anybody and everybody.
Jerome Charyn is the author of the celebrated Isaac Quartet as well as many other novels and works of non-fiction. From 1995 to 2008, he was Professor of Cinema Studies at the American University of Paris, where he is now Distinguished Professor emeritus.
“I didn’t think I cared much about Ping-Pong after the age of 15, but this book revives the 15-year-old Ping-Pong lover in me. It’s not just a book about Ping-Ping – it’s about New York and Paris, writing and mad devotion, friendship, politics and ageing. It’s a great book about the world seen across sandpaper, rubber, and foam paddles.”
Herbert Gold, author of ‘Fathers’ and ‘A Girl of Forty’