Balls: A Novel

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Algonquin Books, 1998 - Fiction - 396 pages
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BALLS is the story of a college football coach, his rise, his fall, and his fallback position. You could say BALLS is the story of a coach's kick-off, his first, second, and third downs . . . and his punt. But BALLS is a coach's story that belongs to the coach's wife. To her, and to his mother, his mother-in-law, his daughter, his assistants' wives, his players' mothers and girlfriends, and even his players' grandmothers. It's the women standing behind this handsome football hero who tell the story behind the headlines of Mac Gibbs, Birmingham University coach Catfish Bomar's star quarterback, who married Dixie Carraway, the beautiful homecoming queen. Set in Alabama, home state of the legendary Paul "Bear" Bryant, BALLS is told by fifteen women and one little girl touched by Mac Gibbs's fall from fame as a college quarterback to infamy as head coach of the Birmingham University Black Bears. It's told in those women's voices, from their seats in the stands. They watch the other women, worry when players are slow to get up off the ground, pray when players are carried off on stretchers. They don't care much for the "science" of the game--or its brutality. They see football as it really is--sexy, dirty, sweaty, painful, empowering, corrupt. The story they tell is often funny and not always pretty, as the view from deep inside rarely is. This is a novel that moves with the force of a fourth down charge, and shimmers with the tears of the women waiting outside the locker-room door when the game is lost. The author, twice a head coach's wife, knows whereof she writes so brilliantly. She also knows a lot about love. And BALLS is, above all, a love story.


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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Kincaid's relaxed and folksy second novel (after Crossing Blood, 1992, and a story collection Pretending the Bed is a Raft, 1997) chronicles in their own words the variously impoverished lives of ... Read full review


User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

Kincaid (Pretending the Bed Is a Raft, LJ 9/1/97) scores another touchdown with this funny, entertaining novel about college football coaches and the women who love them. Set in Alabama, a fanatical ... Read full review



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About the author (1998)

Nanci Kincaid is the author of two previous novels, Crossing Blood and Balls, and a collection of short stories, Pretending the Bed Is a Raft. She lives in Hawaii with her husband. They have four grown children.

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