In the Too Funny Department, Caraun Reid – a defensive tackle who graduated from Princeton, sings and plays guitar – may be picked as early as the third round of the NFL Draft. Why is that funny? Because as a novelist struggling to create believable athletic protagonists, I have worried about making them too intellectual and cultural (like me). Then along comes Reid to demonstrate I had nothing to worry about, that God is the best writer and that we shouldn’t be so quick to assume that a jock can’t be a brainiac as well.
But then, I already knew that. In my upcoming novel, “In This Place You Hold Me,” deeply troubled star quarterback Quinton Day Novak attended Stanford where he studied classics. Who’s going to believe this? I thought. Until the Jonathan Martin hazing incident broke, and it turned out, yep, he went to Stanford and majored in classics. You can’t make this stuff up.
Reid is more like swimmer Dylan Roqué and tennis player Alí Iskandar in my first novel, “Water Music” – a well-rounded person with artistic as well as athletic interests.
I was describing how life imitates art in my novels tonight to friends and neighbors old and new. My next-door neighbor had died hours before, and there I was talking literature with his widow, who is like a sister to me.
At the close of the evening she hugged me and thanked me for providing her with some distraction.
In the end, that is perhaps all art can do.