You Know Me Al: A Busher's Letters
by Ring Lardner
Ring Lardner, America's great humorist and shortstory writer, began his career as a sports writer. Because of his interest in baseball, he began ... Show synopsis Ring Lardner, America's great humorist and shortstory writer, began his career as a sports writer. Because of his interest in baseball, he began putting stories in his newspaper column that were purportedly written by unlettered athletes. Lardner, who had an excellent ear for dialogue, actually wrote these stories in the voice of the fictional rookie ballplayer Jack Keefe, a White Sox pitcher, who writes letters to his friend Al Blanchard back home in Bedford, Indiana. Several streams of American comic tradition merge in You Know Me Al: the comic letter, the wisecrack, the braggart character, the use of sporting vocabulary and fractured English as a means to apologetics. This collection of short stories revealed Lardner's talent for the sports idiom he made famous. Usually cynical and pessimistic, his stories are peopled by ordinary characters. Lardner often used his own experiences as the model or inspiration for the fiction he wrote.