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Writers' Fighters and Other Sweet Scientists Paperback – May, 1983


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After making his mark in sportswriting and Hollywood, John Schulian has shifted gears and written his first novel, the noirish "A Better Goodbye." It's the tale of lost souls in rarely-seen precincts of Los Angeles, a melting pot stirred by a tragedy-haunted boxer, a college girl moonlighting as a sensual masseuse, a failed actor turned pimp, and a prison-hardened sociopath. "Goodbye" marks the latest turn in the career of the L.A.-born and Salt Lake City-reared Schulian. Before establishing himself as a nationally-syndicated sports columnist at the Chicago Sun-Times, he was a copy editor at the Salt Lake Tribune, a cityside reporter and pop music columnist at the Baltimore Evening Sun, and a sports writer at the Washington Post. He moved to Chicago in 1977 as a sports columnist at that city's Daily News. When the paper folded 13 months later, he shifted to the Sun-Times, where he won a National Headliner Award in 1979, was regularly in included in E.P. Dutton's annual "Best Sports Stories" anthology, and published a highly-regarded collection of his boxing writing, "Writers' Fighters and Other Sweet Scientists." Rupert Murdoch purchased the Sun-Times in 1984 and Schulian left less than six months later after a dust-up with one of Murdoch's editors. He landed at the Philadelphia Daily News long enough to win the 1985 Nat Fleischer Award for Excellence in Boxing Journalism, and then took off for Hollywood at the invitation of Steven Bochco, creator of "Hill Street Blues." Schulian broke into TV with an "L.A. Law" script and moved on to work on the writing staffs of "Miami Vice," "The 'Slap' Maxwell Story," and "Wiseguy." He was a writer-producer on "Midnight Caller," "Reasonable Doubts," and "Hercules: The Legendary Journeys" before he struck gold as a co-creator of "Xena: Warrior Princess," which became, for a while, the world's foremost syndicated TV series. Schulian later wrote and produced such series as "JAG," "Outer Limits," and "Tremors" while keeping his hand in the printed word. A collection of his baseball writing, "Twilight of the Long-ball Gods," was published in 2005, followed six years later by "Sometimes They Even Shook Your Hand," a gathering of his best work on all sports. He has written for Sports Illustrated, GQ, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Oxford American, Inside Sports, Sport, Playboy, Deadspin, and msnbc.com. His journalism has been anthologized in "The Best American Sports Writing," "Reading the Fights," "Sports Classics," "Sports Illustrated's 50 Years of Great Writing," and "Sports Illustrated's Great Football Writing." He has also had short stories published in the Prague Revue and on the websites Thuglit and The Classical. Schulian is the editor of "The John Lardner Reader" and co-editor, with George Kimball, of two anthologies, "At the Fights: American Writers on Boxing" and "The Fighter Still Remains: A Celebration of Boxing in Poetry and Song from Ali to Zevon." His novel, "A Better Goodbye," was published in December 2015. He is presently at work on another one. You can keep track of how he's doing at www.johnschulian.com.

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