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  • Published: 26 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802065831
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

There's Always This Year

On Basketball and Ascension

  • Hanif Abdurraqib

A poignant, personal reflection on basketball, talent and the meaning of success

Growing up in Columbus, Ohio, in the 1990s, Hanif Abdurraqib witnessed a golden era of basketball, one in which legends like LeBron James were forged and countless others weren’t. His lifelong love of the game leads Abdurraqib into a lyrical, historical, and emotionally rich exploration of what it means to make it, who we think deserves success, the tension between excellence and expectation, and the very notion of role models, all of which he expertly weaves together with intimate, personal storytelling.

There’s Always This Year is a triumph from one of America’s most celebrated and insightful writers. It brims with joy, pain, solidarity, comfort, outrage, and hope. No matter the subject, Abdurraqib’s exquisite writing is always poetry, always profound, and always a clarion call to radically reimagine how we think about our culture, and ourselves.

  • Published: 26 March 2024
  • ISBN: 9781802065831
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 352

Praise for There's Always This Year

Hanif Abdurraqib writes: You are, in part, who loves you. I’ve never read a book more full of love—heartbreaking, poetic, rapturous—than There’s Always This Year. He loves basketball, his court, his block, his city, but most of all, his people, and he beautifully shares it in this indelible and mesmerizing book. Abdurraqib has written not only the most original sports book I’ve ever read, it’s also one of the most moving books I’ve ever read, period. Utterly transcendent

Steve James, director of Hoop Dreams

Lyrically stunning and profoundly moving, the confessional text wanders through a variety of topics without ever losing its vulnerability, insight, or focus… a formally inventive, gorgeously personal triumph

Kirkus Reviews

Hanif Abdurraqib is one of the finest authors working in America, and this book contains, I would argue, the sharpest, most insightful, most poignant writing of his career. It's incredible. It's fat with emotion and love and earnestness and basketball, four of the very best things, packaged and delivered in a way that only Hanif can

Shea Serrano, bestselling author of Basketball (and Other Things)

Hanif Abdurraqib again shows us new ways to be a social critic, a dreamer, a historian, and a lover of hoop. But--and this feels especially moving--he shows us how he wonders about, and how he is transformed in the wondering about, what it means to belong to a place. And you know by place I mean the people, the memories, the sorrows, the tomorrows, who are that place. And you know by all that I mean the love

Ross Gay, author of The Book of Delights

MacArthur fellow Abdurraqib follows his Carnegie Medal-winning A Little Devil in America with another unique, memoir-propelled, far-ranging, and affecting inquiry. . . . Structured like a game in quarters and minutes, it's a galvanic drive through the intricacies of family, community, belief, and dreams, . . . Abdurraqib keeps multiple balls in the air as he swerves, spins, and scores, and every thoughtfully considered and vividly described element and emotion, action and moment, ultimately connects. An exhilarating, heartfelt, virtuoso, and profound performance

Booklist (starred review)

Everything Hanif Abdurraqib writes—music criticism, poetry, personal essays, tweets about his dog, analysis of NBA oddballs—is worth reading. The depth of insight and humanity he brings to his writing is a marvel

Lit Hub

There is perhaps no writer I’d rather read a meditation on basketball on than Hanif Abdurraqib. Already one of our most important cultural critics working today, Abdurraqib brings his stunning candor and care to this exploration of the new golden age of basketball, the stars that shined brighter than ever before, and his personal relationship to the sport

Chicago Review of Books

A smart, thoughtful examination of home, role models, society, fame, and more

Book Riot

MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant-winning author Hanif Abdurraqib has written thoughtful, personal, and poetic cultural criticism on music, dance, film, and more. While nominally his next book is about basketball – like the rest of his writing, it’s also about everything else


With vulnerability and sincerity, Abdurraqib pushes readers to rethink what it means to be successful both on and off the court


A triumphant meditation on basketball and belonging … The narrative works as if by alchemy, forging personal anecdotes, sports history, and cultural analysis into a bracing contemplation of the relationship between sports teams and their communities. This is another slam dunk for Abdurraqib

Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Hanif Abdurraqib contains multitudes