Sports Illustrated: fiction publisher?

In 1986, Sports Illustrated purchased a previously unpublished story by Ernest Hemingway and “put Papa on its cover to celebrate a major coup for a magazine with ambitions to combine a passion for sports with serious literary journalism.”

Nowadays, according to Michael David Smith, Sports Illustrated is a poster child for the “lousy, tabloid-style journalism in pursuit of a tawdry scoop” approach that permeates the U.S. media.


  • Pick up a cheap copy of the SI Hemingway issue at ebay. (More options here.)
  • In “Short of Glorious,” Kelly Jane Torrance tracks the disappearance of the short story from the slicks. Since Torrance’s article appeared, even The Atlantic has bailed on the practice of including short fiction in each issue (and failed without warning to send subscribers a copy of the new dedicated fiction issue; I’m still pissed about that).
  • Bill Keller dresses down the Book Review for publishing Richard Posner’s “tenditious and cynical” “review” of media criticism. (You may recall that there was some nail-spitting going on around here the day after the Posner piece appeared.)


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