The book is written by Keith Gessen, a literary critic and publishing insider. It covers the behind-the-scenes story of what it took to bring The Art of Fielding to store shelves. This 17,000 word ebook expands upon the article that Gessen wrote for Vanity Fair, and it includes details trimmed from the print edition. There’s more background, better descriptions, and so on.
Chad Harbach, Gessen’s friend and colleague, was a struggling writer who toiled relentlessly for ten years on The Art of Fielding, before it eventually hauled in a $650,000 advance. At each step of the way several vivid characters fought tooth and nail to ensure the book’s survival, including Chris Parris-Lamb, Harbach’s passionate young agent; Michael Pietsch, a renowned editor at the publishing house Little, Brown; and Keith Hayes, the book’s tireless designer.