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Coach Fitz - Tom Lee

Coach Fitz

By: Tom Lee

Paperback | 1 August 2018

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One of the strangest and most appealing novels you will read this year!

Tom, a young man struggling to forge some sense from his experiences, employs the services of an older woman as his running coach. A former psychoanalyst, Coach Fitz’s methods combine fitness training with an intense curiosity about the spirit of the places through which they travel. Enthusiastic and perceptive yet plagued by self-consciousness, Tom finds himself at once fascinated and troubled by his mentor’s peculiar ideas.

As they follow an eccentric course across parklands, streets and beaches, a conversation unfolds about the athletic body, architectural style and especially the emergence from adolescence into adulthood. But when his relationship with Coach Fitz breaks down, Tom finds himself dogged by past failures and obsessions, and sets out in search of a student of his own, in an attempt to orchestrate an ideal expression of his emotional, athletic and intellectual urges.

Weaving earnest, comic and dreamlike voices, Coach Fitz finds marvels in unlikely places: in outdoor gyms, picnic spots and water towers; in internet cafés, hotel restaurants and bottle shops; in goat’s cheese, olive oil and sourdough bread; and via the body in motion, in its squats and stretches, burpees and breath friends, run-ups, chin-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, warm-ups and cool-downs.

Coach Fitz is an exploration of the outdoor mentality that plays such a dominant role in the Australian psyche. It is remarkable for its observations about landscape and physical exercise, embedded in the training routines and dialogues of the runners. But most of all it is about the emotions and aspirations of youth, and the complications these engender.

Playful, philosophical and strangely captivating, Tom Lee’s first novel speaks to the contemporary fixation on self-fashioning and wellness, conjuring an immersive world of intimacy, awkwardness and elation.

About the Author

Tom Lee is a writer known for his interest in landscape, technology and the senses. He grew up on a farm near Orange in central-west NSW, and lectures in the School of Design at the University of Technology Sydney. He was the recipient of a Marten Bequest Scholarship in 2014.

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