The Last Picture Show

Occasional updates from writer Rosecrans Baldwin.

Rosecrans is the author of You Lost Me There (New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice; NPR's Best Books of 2010) and Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down (GQ's Best Books of 2012). His next novel is forthcoming from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Rosecrans's essays appear in a variety of magazines, including GQ, Men's Journal, and the Oxford American. He talks about books on the radio for NPR's All Things Considered.

He and his wife live in Los Angeles, California.

It took me thirty years to figure out that tennis is as good as it gets for humans. After love, of course, and fulfilling work. But following that, tennis is the axis mundi, the bridge between this world and the next one, heaven or hell, sometimes both at once. You want to kiss the spiritual plane and at the same time brush your teeth with the gunge of human suffering? Try serve-and-volleying at 5-6 in a third-set tie-break with the sun in your eyes.

Latest GQ story finds me attempting to play in the US Open, with assistance from Grand Slam great Mats Wilander. How Old is Too Old to Win the U.S. Open?

Aug 25, 2014

The pavilion was a flatland of several hundred young men, most of them wearing Class B uniforms—troop-issued t-shirts and green cargo shorts—stained from days of marching. The boys were exhausted. They wanted a patch of shade, a Coke, an unopened can of peaches. Mostly they wanted to find a good deal in the makeshift souk. Do you have the complete Marvel set? Any ghost patches? You got any ninjas?

From “Scout’s Honor,” my long-ass article in the Summer issue of the Oxford American, where I spend several days at the 18th national Scout jamboree. Readers who reach the end will know the meaning of Silver Surfer.

Jun 11, 2014

"I love to drive," Stan Wawrinka said, gunning his borrowed Audi through a yellow light in downtown Miami. As of April, the 29-year-old is the third-best men’s tennis player on Earth, even if he hasn’t yet learned to act like it. Wawrinka doesn’t travel with much of an entourage – there’s no nutritionist on call, no hired hands to carry his luggage. He is Swiss; gracious, humble, and unassuming; the sort of guy who posts on Instagram, "A person who’s nice to you but not nice to the waiter is not a nice person."

From The day I spent driving around Miami with Stan Wawrinka in a fancy car.

Jun 10, 2014

Watching The Empire Strikes Back as a child does not prepare you for the first time you field-dress an animal in the snow. Yes, the organs balloon out as if they’re instantly inflating, like when Han Solo cuts open the Tauntaun. But then comes a lot of work. Ten minutes into gutting, I’m “ringing the ass,” running a four-inch German hunting knife around a pelvic canal while Uncle Cy, an experienced hunter, hisses useful advice in my ear, like “Don’t ruin my fucking knife.” And “You just ruined my fucking knife.”

(via Learning How to Hunt Deer in 7 Days or Less)

New article for GQ involving uncles, guns, and me in a canoe when it’s 16 degrees outside.

Magazine writers don’t really get to write their own headlines, blurb text, or  captions, so for anyone emailing to say it’s impossible to “learn how to hunt deer in seven days or less,” believe me, I agree.

Mar 5, 2014