Number One Book Sense Pick, September 2004
"One of the funniest and most heartfelt baseball stories in recent memory . . . This is a baseball fantasy, a warm and hilarious tale of dreams come true." Publishers Weekly, starred review
"A baseball story as sweet and heart-gladdening as the juice from a ripe peach . . . The outcome is as ambrosial as the story itself." Kirkus Reviews
"This is Mosher's best book, a generous, bighearted look into the very essence of faith and those complicated New Englanders who call themselves Red Sox fans." Ken Burns
In his eight previous books, Howard Frank Mosher has established himself as a true American treasure, praised as no less than a "combination of Ernest Hemingway, Henry David Thoreau, and Jim Harrison" by the Los Angeles Times. From classics such as A Stranger in the Kingdom to last year's rollicking The True Account, Mosher's stories weave wonderful, quirky characters with graceful language and laugh-out-loud humor to create worlds that readers go back to inhabit again and again. In his newest novel, Waiting for Teddy Williams, Mosher returns to the corner of northern Vermont he has made famous to tell a lively tale of growing up and loving baseball.
Waiting is the story of Ethan "E.A." Allen of Kingdom Common, Vermont, the spiritual home of the Red Sox Nation, where every radio in town is tuned in on game days and a replica of the Green Monster scoreboard bedecks the local bat factory. Living on the edge of town with his doting but hard-living mother, Gypsy Lee, and the sharp-tongued, Sox-obsessed Gran, E.A. divides his time between practicing his batting and trying to figure out which of the villagers could be his father.
After a mysterious drifter enters his life and patiently teaches him the finer points of the game, and when a new owner threatens the very existence of his beloved Sox, E.A. finds himself on the other side of the fence at Fenway Park, charged with breaking the team's nearly century-old losing streak and taking it all the way to the World Series.
Engaging, heartfelt, and one hundred percent original, Waiting for Teddy Williams is a very American story that reminds us that dreams, no matter how far-fetched, sometimes do come true.
Howard Frank Mosher's work has earned him the highest esteem of some of our most admired writers, including Richard Russo, Oscar Hijuelos, Richard Ford, and Frank McCourt, who has written that he'd "put Howard Mosher up on the pedestal I keep for Wallace Stegner, Frederick Turner, [and] Edward Hoagland."
Mosher is the author of eight novels, including last year's The True Account and The Fall of the Year (both Book Sense 76 Top Ten Picks), A Stranger in the Kingdom (winner of the New England Book Award), Disappearances, Where the Rivers Flow North, Northern Borders, and Marie Blythe, and one work of nonfiction, North Country. Three of his novels (A Stranger in the Kingdom, Disappearances, and Where the Rivers Flow North) have been made into feature films.
Mosher has received a Guggenheim fellowship and a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, the American Academy of Arts and Letters Literature Award, the American Civil Liberties Union Award for Excellence in the Arts, and the New England Book Award.
A lifelong baseball fan and longtime player and coach, Mosher lives in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom with Phillis, his wife of nearly four decades and frequent muse. They have two children.
Advance Praise for the Book
"Waiting for Teddy Williams is a bighearted love letter to the most steadfast, stubborn, long-suffering people in the U.S.: Boston Red Sox fans. Mixing small-town Vermont, hardscrabble hope, and a generous dollop of baseball, Howard Frank Mosher hits this one out of the park." Jodi Picoult, author of Second Glance and My Sister's Keeper
"This is the creation myth of every baseball fan. E.A. is as lovable as Huck Finn. A must-read." Bill "Spaceman" Lee, pitcher, Boston Red Sox, 19691978
"I like the Boston Red Sox of Howard Mosher's Waiting for Teddy Williams better than the real thing. I think most readers will, too, whether they are fans or not. Like a favorite season, readers will return to Waiting for Teddy Williams again and again." Glenn Stout, coauthor of Red Sox Century
"There hasn't been a writer like Howard Mosher since Mark Twain. Waiting for Teddy Williams ranks with Huckleberry Finn as a literary experience in heart, spirit, and insight into the American character." Ernest Hebert, author of The Old American
"Howard Frank Mosher puts a delightful spin on the timeless Red Sox theme of Waiting." Dan Shaughnessy, author of Curse of the Bambino
"I LOVE this book. And if you value wisdom or wit, story or character, tradition, family or baseball, you'll love it, too. What a marvelous book!" Billie Letts, author of Where the Heart Is
For The True Account:
"Perhaps the funniest historical novel about the West since Little Big Man." Ron Franscell, Denver Post
"Howard Mosher calls to mind the best of Mark Twain mischievous, touching, and very funny. Private True Teague Kinneson is an uproarious literary creation, a flamboyantly addled expeditionary whose company you'll never regret." Carl Hiaasen, author of Hoot
"Picaresque is too tame a word for this imagined romp through the somber history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition . . . A great adventure, told with the dry, subversive humor of a true Vermonter." Los Angeles Times
For The Fall of the Year:
"Few writers create characters as wondrous and idiosyncratic as Howard Frank Mosher and fewer still offer us stories with as much grace and humor and heart. He is, pure and simple, one of the very best we have." Chris Bohjalian, author of Buffalo Soldiers and Midwives
For Northern Borders:
"One of our very best writers . . . Mosher offers us a landscape, both natural and human, worth knowing, worth believing in." Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls
For A Stranger in the Kingdom:
"Reminiscent of To Kill a Mockingbird and Anatomy of a Murder . . . absorbing!" Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times
For North Country:
"Mr. Mosher has transformed the northern U.S. frontier and the southern coast of Canada into one long and bountiful literary landscape, and in doing so has made me see America more vividly. His wonderful itinerary is bright with anecdote and history and lore, and most importantly with affection for his human subjects." Richard Ford, author of Independence Day
"I'd put Howard Mosher up on the pedestal I keep for Wallace Stegner, Frederick Turner, Edward Hoagland . . . The book makes you want to get into the car and go. It shows America is still virgin territory for the traveler with a warm heart and a ready pen, characteristics Mr. Mosher has in spades." Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes