The University of Wisconsin Press

Autobiography / Gay & Lesbian Studies / Sports & Recreation

Track Conditions
A Memoir
Michael Klein

"This quietly heartbreaking yet inspiring story puts Klein in the company of the best writers on the race track."Publishers Weekly

Following his alienated lover to an Ohio race track, Michael Klein began a five-year career as a professional groom in the world of horse racing, which eventually included caring for 1984 Kentucky Derby winner, Swale. Klein formed an intense, loving bond with the colt, but his life was shadowed by the undertow of his alcoholism, a complicated relationship with his lover, and his memories of an abusive childhood. Track Conditions is a heartfelt story of resilience that examines the track conditions that can create and destroy champions, and those that can ruin or save a man.

"In a gruff, heartbreaking voice unlike anyone writing in America today, award-winning poet Michael Klein has given us a shameless and fascinating memoir of thoroughbreds and hypocrites, blackouts and jail cells, wanderlust and hard-won redemption. A must-read for anyone who's wondered about the dark side of the winner's circle, the spoils of the great race, the heroic journey home of an artist gone awry."—Mark Matousek

Michael Klein is an award-winning poet and author. His poetry collections 1990 and Poets for Life are winners of the Lambda Literary Book Award. He lives in New York City and teaches memoir writing in the summer program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown.

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July 2003
LC: 2003050124 PS
192 pp.   5 1/4 x 8 1/4

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Paper $19.95 t
ISBN 978-0-299-19224-2
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