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35 Segments




Boxing and War with Thom Jones.

Writer Thom Jones was a boxer in the Marines in the mid-1960s. He was supposed to ship out to Vietnam, but he suffered an epileptic seizure, which he believes was caused by too many punches to the head. So instead of shipping out, he was thrown out. The rest of his unit did go to Vietnam, where they were ambushed and killed. Jones turned to writing, but couldn't get anything published, so he became a high school janitor. He is finally experiencing literary success this year with the publication of his collection of short stories "The Pugilist At Rest" (Little, Brown).


Boxer, Novelist and Teacher Floyd Salas

Salas is the author of three critically-acclaimed novels. His new book, "Buffalo Nickel," is a novelistic autobiography. Salas's mother died when he was 11 and he was left in the primary care of his two older brothers, Al, a Golden Gloves champion, and Eddy, a college student. Al became involved with drugs and crime; Eddy committed suicide.


Jose Torres Discusses His Career and His Biography of Mike Tyson.

Author Jose Torres. His new book, Fire and Fear, charts the personal turmoil and the athletic rise of heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. Torres comes to the Tyson story well qualified: he's the former world light heavyweight boxing champion (his lifetime record was 52-3-1), and he trained with the same man who trained Mike Tyson. Since retiring, Torres has served as the New York state boxing commissioner and written a biography of Mohammad Ali titled Sting Like A Bee.


How Tyson Changed Boxing.

Sportswriter Phil Berger. Berger covers boxing for The New York Times and has written a new book about heavyweight champ Mike Tyson called Blood Season.


Harry Crews Discusses His "Freakish" Characters.

Novelist and essayist Harry Crews. His nine novels include All We Need is Hell and The Gospel Singer. Oftentimes, the main characters of Crews' works are outsiders; The central character of Crews' most recent work, titled The Knockout Artist, is a boxer who specializes in knocking himself out. Crews' three works of nonfiction include the autobiography A Childhood, Blood and Grits, and Florida Frenzy.


Joyce Carol Oates "On Boxing"

The novelist's new nonfiction book is a meditation on the violent, intense sport, which her father exposed her to when she was a child. Despite her interest in boxing, Oates finds it difficult to watch live fights.


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