A Single Happened Thing

by Daniel Paisner

Daniel Paisner paints the corners with a story that reimagines the life and death of one of baseball’s forgotten legends and pushes us to consider what it means to leave a mark.

Ron Darling, author of The Complete Game

I would never witness anything interesting. I would never write anything beyond memos and flap copy and travel itineraries. I would simply love my wife and my daughters and hold them close and continue to take in meaningless midweek doubleheaders and mismanage the selling strategies of our midlist titles and ride along whatever middling currents I could manage until I washed up on some predictable shore.

It’s the late Nineties on the Upper West Side and book publicist David Felb (née Felber, née Felberstein) can sense his world shrinking. He is stuck in the slow lane at “a venerable second-tier publishing house” and feeling the encroaching changes technology will bring as he struggles to maintain a bond with his wife and three young daughters. Into the void steps Fred “Sure Shot” Dunlap, a tweed-clad, waxed-mustached nineteenth-century baseball legend with still impeccable timing who died penniless and obscure and seems to need something from Felb. Or is it the other way around? Felb dutifully goes to weekly psychiatrist appointments at his wife’s insistence, but when his hard-to-reach baseball-mad teenage daughter develops her own fascination, he can feel a chance to recapture something lost.

Daniel Paisner’s enchanting new novel about neurosis, intimacy, and balancing familial needs while juggling two careers and the demands of modern life is also a charming and memorable parable about losing your mind and finding yourself in the age of anxiety.

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Daniel Paisner

Daniel Paisner is the author of two previous novels: Obit (“a classic mystery novel”—The Boston Globe) and Mourning Wood (“has the makings of a cult favorite”—Booklist, starred review). He is the co-writer of the acclaimed Holocaust memoir The Girl in the Green Sweater, with Krystyna Chiger, and the 9⁄11 diary Last Man Down: A Firefighter’s Story of Survival and Escape from the World Trade Center, with FDNY Deputy Chief Richard Picciotto—both international bestsellers. He is also the co-writer of twelve New York Times bestsellers. In addition, he has written several books about our national pastime, including Game 7, 1986: Failure and Triumph in the Biggest Game of My Life, with former All-Star pitcher and noted baseball analyst Ron Darling.

More praise for A Single Happened Thing

Felb will charm you as he tells the story of the pleasures and difficulties of his world—marriage and parenthood, disappointment, self-doubt, and hope. His journey through the thicket of contemporary life leaps off the page.

Ronna Wineberg, author of On Bittersweet Place