A Sport and a Pastime

James Salter

23 February 2017
224 pages


With an introduction by Sarah Hall

The 1960s. Philip Dean, a footloose Yale dropout, is touring provincial France and sometimes Paris in a borrowed, once elegant car. He begins a mismatched affair with a young shop girl named Anne-Marie. Together they burn in an everyday but stunningly sensual paradise.

A Sport and A Pastime is a seductive classic that established James Salter's reputation as one of the finest writers of our time. It is remarkable for its eroticism, its luminous prose and its ability to explore the boundaries between what is dreamt and what is lived, between body and soul.

A great literary novel but also the most erotic book ever written
'A Sport and a Pastime . . . Slender, cynical and bruisingly sexy, the novel represents the first full flowering of [Salter's] mature style; his exquisite sentences and extraordinary evocation of place. Daily Telegraph
'Now deemed canonical . . . A Sport and a Pastime [is] still one of the most intensely honest books about sexual passion.' Sunday Times