The author’s second memoir following Fathering Words: The Making of an African American Writer, this book finds poet and literary activist E. Ethelbert Miller returning to baseball, the game of his youth, in order to find the metaphor that will provide the measurement of his life. Almost 60, he ponders whether his life can now be entered into the official record books as a success or failure. Written in short, journal-like entries, The 5th Inning is one man’s examination of personal relationships, depression, love, and loss. It’s a box score filled with remembrancea story of the individual alone on the pitching mound or in the batter's box. It’s a combination of baseball and the blues.
A strong, real male voice, exploring the terrifying territory of growing olderin a marriage, in a family, in one's body. Ethelbert Miller writes with naked honesty and courage about what it is to be a man no longer young. Youth may have left him. Passion has not.” Joyce Maynard, author, At Home in the World
Miller is not afraid to display his frailties, his misgivings about the time spent with his son and daughter, and his own strained relationships with his mother, father, and brother. He is open about his failures and asks how do we cope with failure in career, marriage, and life and how do we look at ourselves when we believe that we have failed as lovers, parents, and friends.” Brenda M. Greene, Neworld Review
Beautifully written, every sentence is extremely well crafted and labored over. Each sentence is another peek into the man's heart. Although The 5th Inning
can sometimes be overbearingly sad, it's never depressing. So far, this is the best book I've read this year.” Steve Hart, Razorcake
It's clear that baseball is Miller’s religion and the organizing metaphor for his life: Balls and strikes can also stand for BS. How much is thrown at a person by the time they reach 50?’” Jonetta Rose Barras, Washington Examiner
Simply put, it's beautiful.” Joseph Ross, American University
"Unanswered questions. But beautifully proposed. This is real E. Ethelbert Miller and a little book to treasure." —www.swans.com