Michel Nareau loves literature, the study of New World identities – and baseball.
He manages to bring those three passions together in his new book, Double jeu : Baseball et littératures américaines, the winner of the Prix du Canada en sciences humaines for 2013.
In it, he shows how, through baseball, many themes common to different countries in the Americas play out.
Baseball, which originated in the United States, quickly spread to Canada, the Caribbean and some Latin American countries – especially those, says Nareau, where in the 19th century the elites sent their children to be educated in the U.S. Baseball is therefore played in countries whose languages are English, French and Spanish.
Love of baseball was not something the Americans imposed on anyone; its fans...