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.
Praise for the Author:
“Shane Anderson’s ‘Joy’ is contagious." –The Poetry Foundation
Publication Date: November 30, 2021
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 a lens to investigate a myriad of social, personal, philosophical, and political issues, such as homelessness, the promises and failures of 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.
"When the Golden State Warriors started their legendary winning streak, Shane Anderson looked at their four core values (joy, mindfulness, compassion, competition) and saw how he could introduce them into his own life. Memoir and psychological text all in one, this book doesn't preach about how to live your life; it just shows the reader the changes that Anderson tried to embody, and the struggles that came with them. His style is fresh and unique, his narrative is compelling, and his grasp on basketball makes for a powerful and effective read."—Brad Costa, Boulder Book Store
“[A]s a study in the salvaging of a life, this small volume offers a fascinating and remarkable story of one man’s love of sport, devotion to a team, and how that saves his life.” —Richard Crepeau, New York Journal of Books
"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
Shane Anderson has written three books of poetry and experimental prose (Soft Passer, Études, and Melanic Ray Meditations), and translated several books from German, including Thomas Pletzinger’s The Great Nowitzki, Elke Erb’s A poem is what it does, and Ulf Stolterfoht’s The Amme Talks. Anderson’s writing and translations can be found in The Nation, Los Angeles Review of Books, Asymptote, Ugly Duckling Presse, and elsewhere. A native of Northern California, Anderson lives with his family in Berlin.