If all sports are really about war, then rugby is a heart-thumping epic of bayonet charges and hand-to-hand fighting. In Memoirs of a Rugby-Playing Man, bestselling author Jay Atkinson describes his thirty-five year odyssey in the sport — from his rough and rowdy days at the University of Florida, through the intrigue of various foreign tours, club championships, and all-star selections, up to his current stint with the freewheeling Vandals Rugby Club out of Los Angeles. Jay has played in more than 500 matches, for which he’s suffered three broken ribs, a detached retina, a fractured cheekbone and orbital bone, four deadened teeth, and a dislocated ankle. Written in the style of Siegfried Sassoon’s Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, Atkinson’s book explains why it was all worth it — the sum total of his violent adventures, and the valuable insights he has gained from them.
Jay Atkinson is a novelist, short-story writer, essayist, critic, investigative journalist, and itinerant amateur athlete from Methuen, Massachusetts. He is the author of two novels, a story collection, and three narrative nonfiction books. His nonfiction book Ice Time was a Publisher’s Weekly notable book of the year in 2001, and Legends of Winter Hill was on the Boston Globe bestseller list for several weeks in 2005. Atkinson’s narrative nonfiction has appeared in the New York Times, Men’s Health, Boston Globe and many other publications. A former two-sport college athlete, Atkinson has competed in rugby for three decades and continues to play in exotic locales with the Vandals Rugby Club out of Los Angeles. He teaches journalism at Boston University.
If all sports are really about war, then rugby is a heart-thumping epic of bayonet charges and hand-to-hand fighting.