A well-reported study of how a hidebound sport was saved from itself.

SWITCHING FIELDS

INSIDE THE FIGHT TO REMAKE MEN'S SOCCER IN THE UNITED STATES

An examination of how American men’s soccer has improved as a result of opening its doors to a broader field of players.

As Dohrmann, the senior managing editor for the Athletic, writes, youth soccer, which took hold in the 1970s, had a problem from the start: It was played by kids whose parents had no idea of what the game entailed, and it was largely a phenomenon of the White suburbs. The consequences were driven home when a supposedly competitive U.S. team suffered unexpected, ignominious defeat in an international competition in 2017, which led to the team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup. The soul-searching that followed centered on a big question: How could a team from tiny Trinidad and Tobago beat the U.S., with its population of 330 million? The answer, it turns out, had been revealed in a detailed report filed years before, in which the authors concluded that the game had to be more accessible to minority players. It took that defeat to drive the point home again, and finally the various soccer organizations around the country heeded the advice. Dohrmann’s explorations take him into cities and suburbs as well as onto the pitches of storied teams such as the University of North Carolina’s women’s team, whose ethos has become that of women’s and girls’ soccer nationwide, courtesy of longtime coach Anson Dorrance: “What he baked into the culture of women’s soccer in America was that it was more than all right to be a killer; it was a prerequisite for being great.” If you go to any girls’ or women’s game today, “you’ll see team after team playing the high-pressing 4-3-3 formation that Dorrance championed. And you’ll see young girls throwing elbows and flying into tackles.” The male side of the game has similarly improved with greater diversity, so much so that European and Latin American coaches are now scouting the U.S. for professional players.

A well-reported study of how a hidebound sport was saved from itself.

Pub Date: Nov. 15, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-5247-9886-4

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Ballantine

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2022

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A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

TANQUERAY

A former New York City dancer reflects on her zesty heyday in the 1970s.

Discovered on a Manhattan street in 2020 and introduced on Stanton’s Humans of New York Instagram page, Johnson, then 76, shares her dynamic history as a “fiercely independent” Black burlesque dancer who used the stage name Tanqueray and became a celebrated fixture in midtown adult theaters. “I was the only black girl making white girl money,” she boasts, telling a vibrant story about sex and struggle in a bygone era. Frank and unapologetic, Johnson vividly captures aspects of her former life as a stage seductress shimmying to blues tracks during 18-minute sets or sewing lingerie for plus-sized dancers. Though her work was far from the Broadway shows she dreamed about, it eventually became all about the nightly hustle to simply survive. Her anecdotes are humorous, heartfelt, and supremely captivating, recounted with the passion of a true survivor and the acerbic wit of a weathered, street-wise New Yorker. She shares stories of growing up in an abusive household in Albany in the 1940s, a teenage pregnancy, and prison time for robbery as nonchalantly as she recalls selling rhinestone G-strings to prostitutes to make them sparkle in the headlights of passing cars. Complemented by an array of revealing personal photographs, the narrative alternates between heartfelt nostalgia about the seedier side of Manhattan’s go-go scene and funny quips about her unconventional stage performances. Encounters with a variety of hardworking dancers, drag queens, and pimps, plus an account of the complexities of a first love with a drug-addled hustler, fill out the memoir with personality and candor. With a narrative assist from Stanton, the result is a consistently titillating and often moving story of human struggle as well as an insider glimpse into the days when Times Square was considered the Big Apple’s gloriously unpolished underbelly. The book also includes Yee’s lush watercolor illustrations.

A blissfully vicarious, heartfelt glimpse into the life of a Manhattan burlesque dancer.

Pub Date: July 12, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-250-27827-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: July 28, 2022

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The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

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I'M GLAD MY MOM DIED

The former iCarly star reflects on her difficult childhood.

In her debut memoir, titled after her 2020 one-woman show, singer and actor McCurdy (b. 1992) reveals the raw details of what she describes as years of emotional abuse at the hands of her demanding, emotionally unstable stage mom, Debra. Born in Los Angeles, the author, along with three older brothers, grew up in a home controlled by her mother. When McCurdy was 3, her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Though she initially survived, the disease’s recurrence would ultimately take her life when the author was 21. McCurdy candidly reconstructs those in-between years, showing how “my mom emotionally, mentally, and physically abused me in ways that will forever impact me.” Insistent on molding her only daughter into “Mommy’s little actress,” Debra shuffled her to auditions beginning at age 6. As she matured and starting booking acting gigs, McCurdy remained “desperate to impress Mom,” while Debra became increasingly obsessive about her daughter’s physical appearance. She tinted her daughter’s eyelashes, whitened her teeth, enforced a tightly monitored regimen of “calorie restriction,” and performed regular genital exams on her as a teenager. Eventually, the author grew understandably resentful and tried to distance herself from her mother. As a young celebrity, however, McCurdy became vulnerable to eating disorders, alcohol addiction, self-loathing, and unstable relationships. Throughout the book, she honestly portrays Debra’s cruel perfectionist personality and abusive behavior patterns, showing a woman who could get enraged by everything from crooked eyeliner to spilled milk. At the same time, McCurdy exhibits compassion for her deeply flawed mother. Late in the book, she shares a crushing secret her father revealed to her as an adult. While McCurdy didn’t emerge from her childhood unscathed, she’s managed to spin her harrowing experience into a sold-out stage act and achieve a form of catharsis that puts her mind, body, and acting career at peace.

The heartbreaking story of an emotionally battered child delivered with captivating candor and grace.

Pub Date: Aug. 9, 2022

ISBN: 978-1-982185-82-4

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: May 31, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2022

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