This set us thinking about which sports bring out the best and worst in writers – and why. Is it true, for example, as Marcel Berlins has written, that "The world of boxing has initiated, and been the setting for, more top-class writing than any other sport?"
If there's one sports novel most people could cite, it's Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch, with David Peace's The Damned United coming a close second. But where soccer has dominated the English literary game in recent years, Holland is arguably leading the way in cycling (Tim Krabbe's The Rider) and rowing (Hans Maarten Van Den Brink's On the Water).
Our investigations into this subject have unearthed literatures of horse racing, of baseball and even of bullfighting, but we've searched in vain for the great croquet and shot-put novels. Perhaps we're just looking in the wrong place. Please tell us what we are missing.
Guardian books blog - Posted on Monday 2 May 2011