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Book Launch

Book Launch | The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey

12/03 Monday | 6pm

NYU’s Institute for Public Knowledge invites you to join us for the launch event of Rowan Ricardo Phillips’s new book The Circuit, out now from FSG, featuring the author in conversation with Eyal Press.

In The Circuit: A Tennis Odyssey, the award-winning poet—and Paris Review sports columnist—Rowan Ricardo Phillips chronicles 2017 as seen through the unique prism of its pivotal, revelatory, and historic tennis season. The annual tennis schedule is a rarity in professional sports in that it encapsulates the calendar year. And like the year, it’s divided into four seasons, each marked by a final tournament: the Grand Slams.

Phillips charts the year from winter’s Australian Open, where Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal renewed their rivalry in a match for the ages, to fall’s U.S. Open, when Maria Sharapova returned to the game as only she could—by shocking the world. Along the way, Phillips paints a new, vibrant portrait of tennis, one that captures not only the emotions, nerves, and ruthless tactics of the point-by-point game but also the quicksilver movement of victory and defeat on the tour, placing that sense of upheaval within a broader cultural and social context. Tennis has long been thought of as an escapist spectacle: a bucolic, separate bauble of life.

The Circuit will convince you that you don’t leave the world behind as you watch tennis—you bring it with you.

Rowan Ricardo Phillips is a poet, screenwriter, translator, and journalist. He is the author of Heaven (FSG, 2015) and The Ground (FSG, 2012). He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award, the PEN/Joyce Osterweil Award, the GLCA New Writers Award for Poetry, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Eyal Press is a visiting scholar at the Institute for Public Knowledge and a writer based in New York. His work has appeared in The New YorkerThe New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, The Nation, and the Raritan Review. He is the author of Beautiful Souls: Saying No, Breaking Ranks and Heeding the Voice of Conscience in Dark Times (FSG, 2012), and Absolute Convictions (Henry Holt, 2006), a narrative account of the abortion conflict. He is a past recipient of the James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism.

Co-sponsored by The New York Institute for the Humanities.

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