A blend of history, myth, and magic, JOY IN MUDVILLE offers a strikingly original vision of America--as familiar as our fondest memories, as wondrous as our wildest dreams.
Set in the 1930s, JOY IN MUDVILLE is the story of three Chicagoans whose weary lives are changed forever by a vision in the sky. Something wonderful. Filled with hope and fear, each leaves home to pursue a glowing star that will ultimately soar halfway across the continent-- a messenger to their lonely hearts, set in motion by a single momentous event...the swing of a baseball bat. For the glowing object arching toward the edge of America is not a star but a baseball ("risen like a bubble at the bottom of a ginger ale...") hit by Babe Ruth for a long home run that travels from Chicago to the Pacific coast, two thousand miles on the dead fly.
The pursuit of this soaring baseball, the race to be beneath it when it at last returns to earth, will bring laughter and tears to every horsehide heart. Scattered across this rich landscape of the American imagination are characters from our own dreams come to life: among them, Al Capone, his face powdered white to hide the knife scars, and Woody Guthrie, "hittin' the long ol' lonesome go." And a hundred surprises in this beautifully written novel about growing up, about growing close, andabout pursuing one's own truth-- the ultimate homerun.