Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas - "Losers" - Virtual Event

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 - 4:00pm - 5:00pm
Event Presenter/Author: 
Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas

Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas will discuss Losers: Dispatches from the Other Side of the Scoreboard. They will be joined in conversation by Justin Kaufmann.

Presented in partnership with WBEZ Chicago

Virtual event


About the book: The locker rooms of winning teams are crowded with coaches, family, and fans. Reporters flock to the athletes, brimming with victory and celebration, to ask, How does it feel? In contrast, the locker rooms of the losing teams are quiet and awkward, and reporters tend to leave quickly, reluctant to linger too long around loss. But, as sports journalists Mary Pilon and Louisa Thomas argue, losing is not a phenomenon to be overlooked, and in Losers, they have called upon novelists, reporters, and athletes to consider what it means to lose. From the Olympic gymnast who was forced to surrender her spot to another teammate, to the legacy of Bill Buckner's tenth-inning error in the 1986 World Series, to LeBron James's losing record in the NBA Finals, these essays range from humorous to somber, but all are united by their focus on defeat. Interweaving fourteen completely new and unpublished pieces alongside beloved classics of the genre, Losers turns the art of sports writing on its head and proves that there is inspiration to be found in stories of risk, resilience, and getting up after you've been knocked down.

About the authors: Mary Pilon is the author of The Monopolists, a New York Times bestseller about the history of the board game Monopoly (Bloomsbury, February 2015) and The Kevin Show (Bloomsbury, March 2018). Her work, chiefly about sports, business, and politics, regularly appears in the New Yorker, Esquire, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Vice, New York, and The New York Times, among other publications. She also appears on a variety of TV and radio programs and worked as a producer for NBC Sports at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Louisa Thomas is the author of Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams and Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family — A Test of Will and Faith in World War I, and the coauthor of Mind and Matter: A Life in Math and Football. A staff writer at The New Yorker and a former writer and editor for Grantland, her writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The AtlanticThe New York Times, Vogue, and other places.

About the interlocutor: Justin Kaufmann is the interim host of Reset, WBEZ’s midday talk show. He spent more than 20 years at WBEZ where he served as senior producer, executive producer, and host for variety of shows and platforms. In 2020 he returned to WBEZ to host a limited series of live, two-hour weekend call-in specials amid the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Kaufmann grew up in the northwest suburbs, graduated from Columbia College, and founded the celebrated Chicago comedy ensemble Schadenfreude.

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