There's Always This Year
On Basketball and Ascension
by Hanif Abdurraqib
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Pub Date 26 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 26 Jun 2024
Random House Publishing Group - Random House, Random House
“Mesmerizing . . . not only the most original sports book I’ve ever read but one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, period.”—Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams
Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1990s, Hanif Abdurraqib witnessed a golden era of basketball, one in which legends like LeBron James were forged and countless others weren’t. His lifelong love of the game leads Abdurraqib into a lyrical, historical, and emotionally rich exploration of what it means to make it, who we think deserves success, the tension between excellence and expectation, and the very notion of role models, all of which he expertly weaves together with intimate, personal storytelling. “Here is where I would like to tell you about the form on my father’s jump shot,” Abdurraqib writes. “The truth, though, is that I saw my father shoot a basketball only one time.”
There’s Always This Year is a triumph, brimming with joy, pain, solidarity, comfort, outrage, and hope. No matter the subject of his keen focus—whether it’s basketball, or music, or performance—Hanif Abdurraqib’s exquisite writing is always poetry, always profound, and always a clarion call to radically reimagine how we think about our culture, our country, and ourselves.
“Hanif Abdurraqib is one of the finest authors working in America. And this book contains, I would argue, the sharpest, most insightful, most poignant writing of his career. It's incredible. It's fat with emotion and love and earnestness and basketball, four of the very best things, packaged and delivered in a way that only Hanif can.”
—Shea Serrano, bestselling author of Basketball (And Other Things)
“Lyrically stunning and profoundly moving, the confessional text wanders through a variety of topics without ever losing its vulnerability, insight, or focus… a formally inventive, gorgeously personal triumph.”
“Hanif Abdurraqib writes: You are, in part, who loves you. I’ve never read a book more full of love—heartbreaking, poetic, rapturous—than There’s Always This Year. He loves basketball, his court, his block, his city, but most of all, his people, and he beautifully shares it in this indelible and mesmerizing book. Abdurraqib has written not only the most original sports book I’ve ever read, it’s also one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, period. Utterly transcendent.”
—Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams