Robert Maynor has been selected as the winner of the 2022 South Carolina Novel Series for his debut novel, The Big Game Is Every Night. Read More
Told in the keen, honest voice of a young man growing up on the rural South Carolina coast, The Big Game Is Every Night grapples with masculinity, race, and family in contemporary blue-collar America.
Grady Hayes’s whole life revolves around football. When he breaks his leg starting a game against a rival high school, his life comes unglued. As he recovers, Grady grows bored and angry. He no longer relates to his mom, his cousin, or the girl he’s been talking to, and loses interest in catfishing and eating family suppers on the weekends. When Grady tries to return to the team, his spot has been filled, and there are rumors flying about why Coach made Grady a starting running-back in the first place.
Frustrated and alone, Grady falls in with Hambone, a brooding older classmate, who takes him deep into the swamps to hunt racoons and experiment with drugs. After an ugly confrontation with another player in the locker room, his relationship with Hambone turns dark and violent. Out of options, Grady’s mom calls in his estranged father to set him straight, and Grady realizes that his dad isn’t the man he remembers.
In his debut novel, Robert Maynor delivers a literary Lowcountry Friday Night Lights that shines a harsh light on the ways American men are steeped in violence, and how hard it can be to shake loose the toxic norms that unchecked can keep us all so far apart.