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After the Oracle

After the Oracle

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By Shane Anderson

Following the four tenets of the Golden State Warriors (joy, mindfulness, compassion, and competition), an American expat in Berlin uses basketball as a lens through which to discover the meaning of life.

Publication Date: December 1, 2021

Paperback: 9781646051465
eBook: 9781646051472


In 2016, Shane Anderson made a vow to live according to the four core values of the Golden State Warriors to escape a decade of defeats—including divorce, debilitating spinal surgery and a suicide attempt. The basketball team’s values of joy, mindfulness, compassion and competition became Anderson’s guiding principles, providing him with a lens to investigate the emptiness of contemporary life, from homelessness to rave culture and the limits of self-help. Part memoir, part essay, and part chronicle of the greatest five-year stretch of a team in NBA history, After the Oracle depicts the makes and misses of one expat trying to make a life worth living.

Biographical Note

Shane Anderson is the author of three books of poetry and experimental prose and has translated three books of poetry and basketball literature. His work has appeared or will appear in The Nation, the Los Angeles Review of Books, 032c, Asymptote and elsewhere. He is the translator of Thomas Pletzinger’s Spiegel Bestseller The Great Nowitzki, published by Norton.

"Basically nothing about this book should work — an earnest but unsentimental self-help basketball memoir of Berlin depravity, depression, and redemption? give me a break — but, by some occult miracle, it does, and it does with hilarity, beauty, the great pleasures of genrelessness, and ultimately something like real grace. I don't think I've ever read anything like it, and I doubt I ever will again." —Gideon Lewis-Kraus, author of A Sense of Direction
"After the Oracle is resolutely not a self-help book, but it is also the best self-help book you'll ever read. It is ostensibly a book about basketball — and yes, it is about basketball! — but it is also about the biggest questions in the world, like what it takes to love and how to build a life. Part love letter to The Game, part self-searching memoir, part philosophical treatise, ultimately it is a roadmap for a deep interrogation of the self that suggests how personal and political transformations may be truly possible. In the tradition of the greatest sports writing, it is expansive, hilarious, and profound — yet it is also uniquely Shane Anderson. Intricately constructed, deeply poetic, vulnerable, real. An ode to basketball; an ode to joy." —Elvia Wilk, author of Oval
“In this work Shane Anderson mines from the moment values that escape beyond the exigencies that seem to cradle the moment. He mines from the athleticism that which insinuates value that seems to overcome the compost that seems to shadow the moment. A seeming instant in time is mined for stunning life lessons it provides emitted as they are from crucial tangents that seem to occlude their greater extension.” —Will Alexander, author of Across the Vapour Gulf, Singing in Magnetic Hoofbeat, and others

"You can't fake the funk on a nasty dunk and Shane Anderson's post-oracular post-genre new book is proof." —Joshua Cohen, author of The Netanyahus, Book of Numbers, and Witz

Reviews of work by Shane Anderson:

“Shane Anderson’s ‘Joy’ is contagious." –The Poetry Foundation

“Compelling.” –Blake Butler, author of Alice Knott, 300,000,000, and others