The “baddest man on the planet,” undisputed, three-time WWE Champion and current UFC World Heavyweight Champion, Brock Lesner, shares his true personal story of determination, domination, and survival in Death Clutch. A raw, no-holds-barred memoir from one of the most popular—and polarizing—figures in sports entertainment and professional mixed martial arts, Death Clutch is an essential volume for every WWE and Ultimate Fighting fan.
Using sport as a lens, this book celebrates Wiradjuri culture and the joys of life within an Aboriginal Australian community. As it examines the physical activities and sports that are valued by native Australians—including games, bare-knuckle fighting, and storytelling that incorporates a significant physical performance component—this account offers an alternative to the commonly told stories of disadvantage by underscoring Indigenous strength. Offering a deeper understanding of how independently Aboriginal Australians live and of the racism they face, it argues that they are far more than the mere sum of their grievances.
An inspirational journey from tragedy to triumph In 2003, nineteen-year-old Private J.R. Martinez was on a routine patrol when the Humvee he was driving hit an antitank mine in Iraq, resulting in severe injuries and burns on his face and more than one-third of his body. Out of that tragedy came an improbable journey of inspiration, motivation, and dreams come true. In Full of Heart, Martinez shares his story in intimate detail, from his upbringing in the American South and his time in the Army to his recovery and the indomitable spirit that has made him an inspiration to countless fans. J.R. Martinez always had a strong spirit. Raised in Bossier City, Louisiana, and then Hope, Arkansas, by a single mother from El Salvador, he was well known at school for his good looks and his smart mouth. At seventeen, showing an early determination and drive that would become one of his trademark qualities, J.R. convinced his mom to move to Dalton, Georgia, where he believed he would have a better chance of being recruited to play college football. His positive attitude earned him a spot on a competitive high school football squad, but when his college dreams collapsed, he turned to the U.S. Army. A few months later, he found himself serving in Iraq. When J.R.’s humvee hit a mine and exploded—just one month into his deployment—he was immediately evacuated to a San Antonio medical center, where he spent the next thirty-four months in grueling recovery. Seeing his disfigured face for the first time after the accident threw him into a crushing period of confusion and anger. His spirits were low, until he was asked to speak to another young burn victim. J.R. realized how valuable and gratifying it was to share his experiences with other patients and listen to theirs. He’d found a calling. His fellow soldiers, along with the local and then national media, soon latched onto J.R.’s spirit and strength. His resilience, optimism, and charm were also noted by Hollywood and scored him roles on All My Children and Dancing with the Stars, where he was the season thirteen champion. Today, J.R. tours the country sharing his story and his lessons for overcoming challenges and embracing hope, lessons that abound in this book. Full of Heart is an unforgettable story of a man who never gave up on his dreams. After being injured in Iraq, J.R. Martinez became a motivational speaker, actor, and winner of season thirteen of Dancing with the Stars. Martinez lives in Los Angeles
Beginning with “The Writer’s Wonderland—Or: A Warning” and ending with “You’ve Published a Book—Now What?” The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide is a must-read for creative-writing students and teachers, conference participants, and aspiring writers of every stamp. Directed primarily at fiction writers but suitable for writers of all genres, John McNally’s guide is a comprehensive, take-no-prisoners blunt, highly idiosyncratic, and delightfully subjective take on the writing life. McNally has earned the right to dispense advice on this subject. He has published three novels, two collections of short fiction, and hundreds of individual stories and essays. He has edited six anthologies and worked with editors at university presses, commercial houses, and small presses. He has earned three degrees, including an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and taught writing to thousands of students at nine different universities. But he has received far more rejections than acceptances, has endured years of underpaid adjunct work, and is presently hard at work on a novel for which he has no guarantee of publication. In other words, he’s been at the writing game long enough to rack up plenty of the highs and lows that translate into an invaluable guide for anyone who wants to become a writer or anyone who is already a writer but doesn’t know how to take the next step toward the writing life. In the sections The Decision to Become a Writer, Education and the Writer, Getting Published, Publicity, Employment for Writers, and The Writer’s Life, McNally wrestles with writing degrees and graduate programs, the nuts and bolts of agents and query letters and critics, book signings and other ways to promote your book, alcohol and other home remedies, and jobs for writers from adjunct to tenure-track. Chapters such as “What Have You Ever Done That’s Worth Writing About?” “Can Writing Be Taught?” “Rejection: Putting It in Perspective,” “Writing as a Competitive Sport,” “Seven Types of MLA Interview Committees,” “Money and the Writer,” and the all-important “Talking about Writing vs. Writing” cover a vast range of writerly topics from learning your craft to making a living at it. McNally acts as the writer’s friendly drill sergeant, relentlessly honest but bracingly cheerful as he issues his curmudgeonly marching orders. Alternately cranky and philosophical, full of to-the-point anecdotes and honest advice instead of wonkish facts and figures, The Creative Writer’s Survival Guide is a snarky, truthful, and immensely helpful map to being a writer in today’s complex world.
An extreme-sports champion shares his inspirational journey—from a traumatic near-death experience to the pinnacle of excellence. In 1992, Dan Brodsky-Chenfeld survived a plane crash that claimed the lives of sixteen people, including several members of his skydiving team. After six weeks in a coma, he woke up with a broken neck, a shattered skull, severe head trauma, a collapsed lung, and other serious internal injuries. Against all odds, Dan recovered—and went on to become one of the greatest competitive skydivers in the world, better known to his fans as “Dan BC.” With the love and support of friends and family, Dan was able to not only resurrect his life, but also return to the sport he loved and achieve greater heights than he ever could have imagined. In Above All Else, he uses his experiences to teach the lessons he’s learned—as a competitor, coach, business owner, father, and husband—to help others achieve their dreams, overcome obstacles, and reach their peak performance. His proven formula for success is applicable to all people, no matter their goals—in the boardroom, on the playing field, wherever people compete to win.
'Jackson's mesmerizing voice and style draws you into the survival calculations for millions of American kids and families, revealing a need-to-know reality for all of us' PIPER KERMAN, Author of Orange is the New Black 'Survival Math should be praised for many reasons--its literary integrity, its cinematic pace, its creativity and candor. But what I find most striking about this work, what I think distinguishes it, is its heart' JASON REYNOLDS 'Jackson's musings skillfully illuminate the bloodlines, both inherited and earned, that pulse through the body of America's gang-graffitied carceral state' TYEHIMBA JESS, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olio In a thrillingly alive, candid new work, award-winning author Mitchell S. Jackson takes us inside the drug-ravaged neighborhood and struggling family of his youth, while examining the cultural forces--large and small--that led him and his family to this place. With a poet's gifted ear, a novelist's sense of narrative, and a journalist's unsentimental eye, Mitchell S. Jackson candidly explores his tumultuous youth in the other America. Survival Math takes its name from the calculations Mitchell and his family made to keep safe--to stay alive--in their community, a small black neighborhood in Portland, Oregon blighted by drugs, violence, poverty, and governmental neglect. Survival Math is both a personal reckoning and a vital addition to the national conversation about race. Mitchell explores the Portland of his childhood, tracing the ways in which his family managed their lives in and around drugs, prostitution, gangs, and imprisonment as members of a tiny black population in one of the country's whitest cities. He discusses sex work and serial killers, gangs and guns, near-death experiences, composite fathers, the concept of "hustle," and the destructive power of drugs and addiction on family. In examining the conflicts within his family and community, Jackson presents a microcosm of struggle and survival in contemporary urban America--an exploration of the forces that shaped his life, his city, and the lives of so many black men like him. As Jackson charts his own path from drug dealer to published novelist, he gives us a heartbreaking, fascinating, lovingly rendered view of the injustices and victories, large and small, that defined his youth.
Leaving the Dark House describes Laura Frombach's survival of an abusive childhood with alcoholic, mentally ill parents only to discover that an even worse nightmare lie ahead ? she grew up to become just like them. This riveting tale tells the story of how poverty, alcoholism and rage addiction may be spawned across generations and how one person broke the cycle to become a corporate success. Sometimes heartbreaking, yet insightful and darkly humorous, this story will inspire and offer hope to those who suffer from the issues of addiction, chronic abuse and trauma. This book also provides insights into how you can overcome a dysfunctional family environment, conquer repeated setbacks and become a success.
WINNER OF THE MAURICIO ACHAR PRIZE FOR FICTION Liborio has to leave Mexico, a land that has taught him little more than a keen instinct for survival. He crosses the Rio Bravo, like so many others, to reach "the promised land." And in a barrio like any other, in some gringo city, this illegal immigrant tells his story. As Liborio narrates his memories we discover a childhood scarred by malnutrition and abandonment, an adolescence lived with a sense of having nothing to lose. In his new home, he finds a job at a bookstore. He falls in love with a woman so intensely that his fantasies of her verge on obsession. And, finally, he finds himself on a path that just might save him: he becomes a boxer. Liborio's story is constructed in a dazzling language that reflects the particular culture of border towns and expresses both resistance and fascination. This is a migrants' story of deracination, loneliness, fear, and finally, love told in a sparkling, innovative prose. It's Million Dollar Baby meets The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, and a story of migration and hope that is as topical as it is timeless. From the Trade Paperback edition.