Jonathan Coleman on basketball legend Jerry West

Author Jonathan Coleman will discuss and present selections from his new book that he coauthored with basketball legend Jerry West, West by West: My Charmed, Tormented Life at New Dominion Bookshop on Thursday, December 15 at 5:30pm. 

Other than his boy-next-door name, there has never been anything simple or conventional about Jerry West, one of the greatest basketball players and executives of all time and the silhouetted figure of the NBA logo.

In a New York Times-bestselling book that the New Yorker calls “deeply thoughtful,” New York Magazine says is “unusually reflective,” and Sports Illustrated praises for being “searingly honest,” Jerry West recounts the difficult, improbable journey he has made—from an abusive childhood in a small mining community in West Virginia (and the loss of a beloved brother to war), to an All-American career at West Virginia University and an Olympic Gold Medal in 1960, to his forty years with the Los Angeles Lakers as a 14-time All-Star, coach, and architect of six championships. Determined to examine and reveal who he truly is, West, in collaboration with bestselling Charlottesville author Jonathan Coleman, takes the reader deep into his psyche—exploring his “demons,” his anger, and his lifelong battle with depression and low self-esteem.

“Anyone who follows basketball knows that Jerry West was a supreme athlete and a brilliant general manager. What I did not know until reading this powerful book was just how complex he is. West by West is a rounded, honest, and moving exploration not just of West’s life under the arena spotlights, but of his passages through his darkest hours. With remarkable clarity and courage, West explores his flaws and ghosts, his glory on the court and his struggles off. Paralyzed and haunted by his childhood, this was a superstar who, at the top of his game, could not escape the feeling that he belonged at the bottom. Few would have the courage to look so deeply into the mirror, but in this exceptional book, West has done so.”
—Gay Talese, author of A Writer’s Life

Jonathan Coleman was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania. A graduate of the University of Virginia, he is a former journalist with CBS News. He is the author of three critically acclaimed books (two of which were New York Times bestsellers): At Mother’s Request, Exit the Rainmaker, and Long Way to Go: Black and White in America. 

Mr. Coleman has a daughter, Logan, and lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.