In this episode of Life Stories, I chat with Jonathan Wilson about Kick and Run, a “memoir with soccer ball” that begins with his growing up in midcentury London to his life as a father, fiction writer and now memoirist in the United States—with football serving as the common element throughout. So we talk about everything from the unsupervised games of his childhood to his arrival in New York City in 1976 (when Americans didn’t yet know much about the sport) to covering the 1994 World Cup for The New Yorker to coaching his own children’s youthful soccer matches.
Oh! And we had this conversation before the group stages for the 2014 World Cup were announced, but I suspect that if we were to talk now he’d be just as pessimistic about England’s chances in Brazil—and maybe even just as politely encouraging about the American team—as he was then. (There’s also a point where, discussing how other international teams often draw more fans to matches than the U.S. squad, I suggest it would be silly for the U.S. to play Portugal at Fenway Park; I realized much later I must have been subconsciously thinking of a Celtic-Sporting friendly that actually did take place there.)
This is the final episode of Life Stories for 2013, and a lot has happened with the podcast these last twelve months! It’s a fantastic opportunity, getting to talk to so many memoir writers about their lives and the art of writing memoir, and I’m looking forward to what 2014 has in store. Thanks for listening!
Listen to Life Stories #57: Jonathan Wilson (MP3 file); or download this file by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click). Or subscribe to Life Stories in iTunes, where you can catch up with earlier episodes and be alerted whenever a new one is released. (And if you are an iTunes subscriber, please consider rating and reviewing the podcast!)
16 December 2013 | life stories |