He Played For His Wife…And Other Stories continues a rich tradition of fictional writing on one of the world’s greatest games.
A ghost at the table, a heads-up with Shakespeare, a high stakes stick-up, a hand played on Death Row, tales of pioneers and knaves, even a celestial argy-bargy – each story in this anthology reveals that when it comes to playing poker, no one can hide from their true selves. Whoever you are, you can be sure all your passions and compulsions, your desires, your foibles and idiosyncrasies will be unsparingly crystalised and exposed on the baize.
First mentioned in print in a military history book published in 1836, the game of poker quickly found its way into the modern literary canon. Requiring technical skill and creative fiction in equal measure, poker is the quintessential writer’s game. From John Steinbeck, Bret Harte, Henry James to Damon Runyon, writers throughout the ages have found in poker a natural prism to refract complex human experience. Poker is one of the few sports to have spawned a literature almost as rich and colourful as its own exotic history.
Featuring contributions from Booker Prize-winning novelist D.B.C. Pierre, award-winning playwright Patrick Marber, actor Neil Pearson and poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, He Played For His Wife…And Other Stories is a compelling collection that will appeal to poker fans everywhere.
Anthony Holden is an award-winning journalist who has published more than thirty books, including He Played For His Wife…And Other Stories and biographies of Laurence Olivier, Tchaikovsky, and Shakespeare. He has published translations of opera, ancient Greek plays, and poetry. He was director of European Film and Television at Exclusive Media, where he helped relaunch Britain’s most famous film production label, Hammer. Anthony Holden lives in London.