I just finished Curtis Sittenfeld’s lovely 2016 novel, Eligible.
In it is a small running theme about Jasper. He is a New York journalist working on a story for Sporty, a major sports magazine, on Cincinnati’s squash scene. “Cincinnati is like the world headquarters for squash, right?” Jasper asks the main character Liz. “They send an insane number of kids to play in Ivy League schools every year. But why Cincinnati.”
Jasper tells Liz that he’s giving up a book idea on fly-fishing in Idaho and thinking of one about squash prodigies. “Fly-fishing is more romantic than squash,” Liz said. “Would’t you rather do your reporting standing in a beautiful stream instead of under fluorescent lights?”
Very very good question that we all ask ourselves when the weather is nice. And the leading edge of our discussions about why squash isn’t more popular in tough-weather locales.
Jasper’s piece eventually does come out in Sporty. It is mostly about an eleven-year-old boy, his intense father and his coach. He didn’t answer the question, why Cincinnati, especially because it isn’t the world headquarters, notwithstanding all the good work of Don Mills, Nathan Dugan, the Wyant clan and Neal Tew.