Book Acquired Recently: David Peace’s The Damned Utd

Peace, David. The Damned Utd. 2006. Brooklyn: Melville, 2014.

I recently read Peace’s novel about Bill Shankly, Red or Dead, and enjoyed it enough that I decided to explore more of his work. The Damned Utd is about Brian Clough’s short tenure as manager of Leeds United. Clough is a figure who has long fascinated me because of his highly successful time as manager of Nottingham Forest, which resulted in a string of trophies that will probably never be repeated by a small English club again. I am excited that Melville House has published an edition of the book, since most soccer novels only get published in England, and thus are impossible for me to assign in my classes because the bookstore is unable to acquire enough copies. If The Damned Utd is, as a review from the Times claims, actually “the best novel ever written about sport,” I might decide to teach it sometime.

I purchased the book from amazon.com.

Published by danielshankcruz

I grew up in New York City and lived in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Goshen, Indiana; DeKalb, Illinois; and Salt Lake City, Utah before coming to Utica, New York. My mother’s family is Swiss-German Mennonite (i.e., it’s an ethnicity, not necessarily a theological persuasion) and my father’s family is Puerto Rican. I have a Ph.D. in English and currently teach at Utica College. I have also taught at Northern Illinois University and Westminster College in Salt Lake City. My teaching and scholarship are motivated by a passion for social justice, which is why my research focuses on the literature of oppressed groups, especially LGBT persons and people of color. While I primarily read and write about fiction, I am also a devoted reader of poetry because, as William Carlos Williams writes, “It is difficult / to get the news from poems / yet [people] die miserably every day / for lack / of what is found there.” Thinkers who influence me include Marina Abramovic, Kathy Acker, Di Brandt, Ana Castillo, Samuel R. Delany, Percival Everett, Essex Hemphill, Jane Jacobs, Walt Whitman, and the New York School of poets. I am also fond of queer Mennonite writers such as Stephen Beachy, Jan Guenther Braun, Lynnette Dueck/D’anna, and Casey Plett. In my free time I’m either reading, writing the occasional poem, playing board games (especially Scrabble, backgammon, and chess), watching sports (Let’s Go, Mets!), or cooking (curries, stews, roasts…).

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