The Face of Baseball Reading and Launch

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Come celebrate the launch of my WhiskeyPaper chapbook, THE FACE OF BASEBALL, at Village Lights Bookstore with readings, music, beer, peanuts and baseball.

THE FACE OF BASEBALL is a collection of linked stories about the way baseball and its heroes thread themselves through the loves and losses of three women in unexpected ways. For the characters in the small town where the stories takes place, baseball is the beating pulse of their everyday lives.

In the central story, twelve-year-old Jean is on a mission to make sure her hero, Reds first baseman Joey Votto, wins the face of major league baseball contest on Twitter, but it isn’t going to be easy.

The second story moves back in time to when Aunt Bea was a young woman and in love with the catcher for the Vevay Riverboat Captains, a team in the Ohio-Indiana League. It’s 1953 and Bea’s wearing pants for the first time. Anything can happen.

In the final story, Jean finds out what really happened to her father. Lorena, her mother, has to face the consequences. As the two watch Derek Jeter’s final at-bat for the Yankees, they wonder whether happy endings are just for baseball players.


“In her touching and masterful collection of stories, Robyn Ryle uses the backdrop of baseball to explore an extended family’s world of half-truths and hope, and bittersweet endings. Ryle’s spare, vivid writing is enchanting. The Face of Baseball is a game-changer—a must read.” _Natasha Sinel, author of The Fix

“You don’t have to be fan of baseball to fall for Robyn Ryle’s The Face of Baseball. All you need is a hankering for authentic voice and deceptively simple prose. This is writing that reads easy but goes deep. Ryle is a master at describing the nuances of familial relationships, loss, and romance. At the risk of sounding baseball-corny, I’d say this lovely collection hits it out of the park.” _Alice Kaltman, author of Wavehouse.

“I didn’t know Robyn Ryle well enough to call her on the phone at eleven o’clock at night but I did it anyway. I called her on the phone at eleven o’clock at night to tell her how much I loved The Face of Baseball. This is one of those perfect stories; you forget you’re reading as soon as you start. Ryle has a voice I want to listen to.”_Ellen Airgood, author of South of Superior, Prairie Evers, and The Education of Ivy Blake.

“Robyn Ryle knows that baseball stories are never just about baseball. In these finely wrought linked stories, a family finds it easier to talk about baseball than about their disappointments in life and love. But trust me: don’t stop reading The Face of Baseball until the very end—because the game’s not over until it’s over._Cathy Day, author of The Circus in Winter.

the face of baseball“In The Face of Baseball Robyn Ryle wonderfully explores the mystery and emotional residue of three very different women characters longing through a love of baseball and a few men who play it. Ryle’s approach to these worlds is incredibly engaging and masterfully crafted. She brought me into worlds I’ve never imagined and made me feel narratively cared for, watched and sometimes shocked. Morrison wrote years ago that the language must never sweat when building new worlds for new readers. Ryle possesses the kind of sweatless writerly skill that comes around a few times a generation. Whether she’s writing about 1953 or the 21st century, Ryle uses that skill to deftly explore the ways that gender and American athletic spectacle infect and inflect our relationships with family, community and ourselves. The Face of Baseball is the most wholly original and well-executed project I have read in years. I wish every writer and every baseball fan I knew could read this book.”_Kiese Laymon, author of Long Division and How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America.

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