"A Sport and a Pastime is as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know," Reynolds Price wrote of James Salter's 1967 novel that tells of the mismatched love affair between Phillip Dean, a Yale dropout adrift in Europe, and Anne-Marie Costallat, a young French shopgirl. An erotic tour de force, licentious yet pure, it is also a hymn to provincial France and has been admired and quoted from since its first publication. Its stunning knowledge and insight have the power to change lives. It brings a kind of splendor to the life that refuses to bow to conven- tion or mores, and, like Cavafy's poems, evokes the illicit in a way that endows it with an astonishing beauty. Brilliantly written and overwhelming in its effect, it remains a triumph on every level.
The 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a mismatched affair with a young shop girl named Anne-Marie. Together they burn in an everyday but stunningly sensual paradise. A Sport and A Pastime established James Salter's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to explore the boundaries between what is dreamt and what is lived, between body and soul.
The seductive classic that established Salter's reputation as one of the finest prose stylists of our time. Touring Paris and provincial France in a handsome borrowed car, Philip Dean, Yale drop-out, has an affair with a young French woman named Anne-Marie. Their liaison is imagined with candour and sensitivity by an unnamed narrator, whose fantasies become compellingly and hauntingly real.A Sport and A Pastime has been hailed as a watershed in American fiction of the 1960s: remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to blur the boundaries of reality and dream life, daytime and night time, soul and flesh.
The astonishing novel and “tour de force” about a love affair in postwar France from the iconic author of All That Is (The New York Times Book Review). Twenty-year-old Yale dropout Phillip Dean is traveling Europe aimlessly in a borrowed car with little money. When he stops for a few days in a church-quiet town near Dijon, he meets Anne-Marie Costallat, a young shop assistant. The two begin an affair both carnal and innocent, and she quickly becomes to him the real France, its beating heart and an object of pure longing. James Salter, author of Light Years and the memoir Burning the Days, was an essential voice in the evolution of late twentieth-century prose, a stylist on par with Updike and Roth who won the PEN/Faulkner Award for his collection Dusk and Other Stories. One of the first great American novels to speak frankly of human desire free of guilt and shame, A Sport and a Pastime inspired Reynolds Price to call it “as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know.” This ebook edition features an illustrated biography of James Salter including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.