As a scholar, Dana Brand has published extensively in the fields of 19th and 20th century English, French and American literature, philosophy and film and was chair of the Hofstra English Department at Hofstra from 1993-2001. In 2007, he published Mets Fan, a memoir of his lifelong enthusiasm for baseball and for his team. The success of Mets Fan inspired him to write his new book, The Last Days of Shea: Delight and Despair in the Life of a Mets Fan, in which he focuses on his love for the now-demolished Shea Stadium, and his experiences following the Mets' misfortunes.
The Last Days of Shea is not just a book about baseball. It is a book about family life, community, hope, fun, and suffering. The Last Days of Shea has a foreword written by Mets announcer Gary Cohen who observes that it is "a truly terrific book. Filled with passion and sincerity, it offers a deeper understanding of what it means to be a fan." The book has also been praised by Mets announcers Ron Darling and Howie Rose, as well as by the great Mets pitcher Jerry Koosman. It has also received recognition in the world of literature where it has been praised by the novelist Jonathan Lethem and the essayist Phillip Lopate. In November 2009, the book was the focus of an article in the New York Review of Books by Michael Kimmelman, the chief art critic of the New York Times who called Professor Brand "the Proust of Mets bloggers."
Dr. Brand received his Ph.D. in English from Yale, where he studied with A. Bartlett Giamatti, the Yale English professor who became the Commissioner of Baseball just five months before his untimely death in 1989. Brand often talked about baseball with Giamatti, who was an inspiration to him.
Copies of the book will be available to purchase. This program is free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Local History Librarian Carl White at 203-622-7948.