Males Herbes, 2023
Ulisses is a fairly timid thirteen-year-old when he receives an offer to train with the youth basketball team of FC Barcelona. This incredible opportunity to compete at another level is a dream come true, but it quickly becomes a nightmare of bullying and hazing when he leaves home and moves into La Masia, the legendary residence hall where so many mythical players were formed. In a trying atmosphere of pressure-cooker rivalries and near-constant victimization, young Ulisses must find his way, both on the court and off.
Set in the 1990s in the world of the youth farm teams of one of the planet’s most beloved sports franchises and inspired by the author’s own experiences, this bildungsroman reveals a culture of toxic masculinity in which the flip side of elite performance is a hovering threat of psychological and physical violence. Told in exacting and incisive prose, this novel focuses its gaze where so many would prefer to look the other way.
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