Bestselling author Mike Sager’s fourth collection, The Someone You’re Not, showcases Sager’s deftly-written journalism at its best and most mature, a riveting marriage of crime reportage and you-are-there literary anthropology.
The book’s centerpiece examines the rise and fall of football RoboQuarterback Todd Marinovich—a previously unpublished, thirty-plus thousand word “nonvella” version of his ASME-award winning Esquire story, the inspiration for ESPN’s acclaimed documentary. Other true stories include up-close and personal visits with super-celebrity Paris Hilton, South Asian Republican hopeful Gov. Piyush “Bobby” Jindal, Ultimate Fighting Championship impresario Dana White, and coaching phenom Pete Carroll.
Plus: A man who spent twenty-nine years in prison for a crime he did not commit. A Muslim immigrant who worked to save the life of the white supremacist who tried to kill him. The best-dressed man in America. An ugly guy in a town that worships beauty. A farm in the mountains where wounded marine veterans are taking care of their own. And “The Porn Identity,” where a divorced dad takes to the road to find former starlets and to rediscover his mojo.
“Mike Sager writes with uncommon grace and, always, with respect for those who give him their time. His stories cut to the bone of our common humanity.” --Paul Hendrickson, author, Hemingway's Boat and Sons of Mississippi, on The Someone You’re Not.
"You know those engrossing books that keep you up all night? Don't pick this one up if you have somewhere to be the next morning." --E Online.com on Scary Monsters and Super Freaks
“Like his journalistic precursors Tom Wolfe and Hunter S. Thompson, Sager writes frenetic, off-kilter pop-sociological profiles of Americans in all their vulgarity and vitality. He writes with flair, but only in the service of an omnivorous curiosity. He defies expectations in pieces that lesser writers would play for satire or sensationalism... a Whitmanesque ode to teeming humanity’s mystical unity.” --The New York Times Book Review on Revenge of the Donut Boys
“I can recognize the truth in these stories—tales about the darkest possible side of wretched humanity.” --Hunter S. Thompson, author, on Scary Monsters and Super Freaks.
"Sager plays Virgil in the modern American inferno...Compelling and stylish magazine journalism, rich in novelistic detail." --Kirkus Reviews, on Revenge of the Donut Boys
"Mike Sager is the beat poet of American journalism, that rare reporter who can make literature out of shabby reality. Equal parts reporter, ethnographer, stylist and cultural critic, Sager has for 20 years carried the tradition of Tom Wolfe on his broad shoulders, chronicling the American scene and psyche. Nobody does it sharper, smarter,or with more style." --Walt Harrington, dean emeritus, College of Media, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mike Sager is a bestselling author and award-winning reporter. He’s been called “the Beat poet of American journalism.” For more than fifteen years he has worked as a Writer-at-Large for Esquire magazine. In 2010 he won the American Society of Magazine Editors’ National Magazine award for profile writing.
Sager’s career in journalism began in 1978, when he quit law school after three weeks to take a job on the graveyard shift as a copy boy at The Washington Post. Eleven months later, he was promoted to staff writer by Metro Editor Bob Woodward, of Watergate fame. Sager left the Post after six years to pursue a career in magazines. His first collection of articles, Scary Monsters and Super Freaks, published in 2003, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller, as was his second, Revenge of the Donut Boys, published in 2007. His first novel, Deviant Behavior, was published by Grove/Atlantic’s Black Cat in April, 2008. A third collection, Wounded Warriors, was published in October, 2008 and received the Military Writers Society of America Founder’s Award and the American Author’s Association Golden Quill Award.
A former Contributing Editor of Rolling Stone and Writer-at-Large for GQ, Sager has also written for Vibe, Spy, Interview, Playboy, Washingtonian and Regardies. He is proud to be Editor-at-Large for WordsETC, the first black-owned literary magazine of South Africa.
For his stories, Sager has lived with a crack gang in Los Angeles; ex-pat Vietnam veterans in Thailand; a 625 pound man in El Monte,CA; teenage pitbull fighters in the Philadelphia barrio; Palestinians in the Gaza Strip; heroin addicts on the Lower East Side; Aryan Nations troopers in Idaho; U.S. Marines at Camp Pendleton; Tupperware saleswomen in suburban Maryland; high school boys in Orange County. Eight of his articles have been optioned for or have inspired Hollywood films.
Sager has read and lectured at the schools of journalism at Columbia University, New York University, the University of Illinois, the University of Missouri, and the University of California, Irvine, where he served as a Periera Visiting Writer for four years. His work is included in textbooks presently in use in college classrooms.
Born August 17, 1956, Sager is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Emory University and a former intern at the pioneering Atlanta alt-weekly Creative Loafing. He lives with his son in San Diego, California. He is a past recipient of La Jolla Youth Soccer’s “Competitive Manager of the Year” award.
The Marinovich Project, a documentary aired by ESPN in 2012, was inspired by ASME winner “The Man Who Never Was” and features Sager as a narrator.
For more information, please see www.MikeSager.com and www.TheSagerGroup.comread more
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