I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye

Ivan Maisel
Wednesday, October 27, 2021
Program: 
6:30 pm
What none of us want to so much as think about, Ivan Maisel and his family endured six years ago. Not long after his 21st birthday, without a signal that anything was seriously wrong, his son Max died by suicide – an act, and most profoundly a loss, that Maisel says “devastated our lives.” 

In a discussion of his poignant new book I Keep Trying to Catch His Eye: A Memoir of Loss, Grief, and Love, the well-known former ESPN and Sports Illustrated writer recounts his relationship with the quiet, quirky son he’ll always treasure, the pain he knows he’ll feel forever, and his journey to an understanding that would come to sustain him: His all-consuming grief was “the purest expression of love for someone who is no longer here to express it back.” And so, he could accept it. Even honor it. 

With honesty and sensitivity, Maisel examines some difficult subjects. Mental health. The anguish of losing a child. The specter of suicide, which increased by a third among 15- to 24-year-olds from 2007 to 2018 and today is the second-leading cause of death among college students (Max was in his junior year at New York’s Rochester Institute of Technology). Maisel is joined in the conversation by the Library’s Steve Wieberg, a former sportswriting colleague. 

Now a vice president and senior writer for the new college football-centric website On3.com, Maisel is one of one of the nation’s most respected sports journalists. He previously spent more than 18 years as a senior writer for ESPN and also has written for Sports Illustrated, Newsday, and The Dallas Morning News. He and his family live in Fairfield, Connecticut. 

Watch the Library presentation live online at YouTube.com/kclibrary