Tom McAllister

Tom McAllister (CNF, Fiction) | South Jersey, NJ

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Tom McAllister is the author of two books: Bury Me in My Jersey (memoir, Villard 2010) and The Young Widower’s Handbook (novel, Algonquin 2017). He is the non-fiction editor at Barrelhouse, a long-running independent literary journal and small press, and co-host of the award-winning literary podcast Book Fight! His shorter work has appeared in a number of places including Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015, Hobart, The Collagist, FiveChapters, Black Warrior Review, and Sundog Lit. He is an Associate Professor in the English Department at Temple University, and lives in New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia.


The Young Widower’s Handbook: A Novel (Algonquin, 2017). Novel. Fiction.
Bury Me in My Jersey: A Memoir of My Father, Football, and Philly (Villard, 2010). Memoir. Creative Non-Fiction.

Blurbs, Press & Reviews

The Young Widower’s Handbook is a stunning, clear-eyed examination of the complexity of grief. In McAllister’s hands, this story of a man dealing with the loss of his wife takes on such depth and surprising humor that you can’t help but give yourself over, heart and soul, to Hunter’s journey.”
—Kevin Wilson

“Funny sad and smart… part wacky road novel, part romantic comedy, McAllister’s debut novel flies along yet reaches deep.”
—Stewart O’Nan

“In the tradition of the great Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Tom McAllister’s debut memoir is far more than a recounting of one man’s hapless love affair with one of America’s most benighted football franchises. Within these unflinchingly honest pages lies a profound and personal meditation on manhood itself—on fathers and sons, on the inheritance of place, on the customs of a tribe and finding one’s place within it. Tom McAllister isn’t just a writer on his way. He’s already here. A wonderful book.”
—Justin Cronin

“More than a family memoir, this debut work by McAllister, a lecturer in the English department at Temple University, reads like a feverish coming-of-age tale of a gridiron groupie known as a “Philly fanatic,” complete with endearing childhood and college flashbacks…”
Publisher’s Weekly

Bury Me in My Jersey is a treasure chest of a memoir, brimming over with insight, urgency, exhilaration, and grief. Above all else it is a lovesong to a particular family, a particular city, and a particular team, but its reach is wider than that; for a reader like me, with no particular passion for football, it offers a rare and captivating window into the enthusiasm of the sports fan.”
—Kevin Brockmeier

“Tom McAllister’s accomplishment in Bury Me In My Jersey is considerable… A funny, confessional and often moving account populated with characters who make you wonder where the world is headed even as you love and cheer for them.”
—John Ed Bradley

“The story Tom McAllister tells in his ferociously smart new memoir is by turns hilarious, appalling, and heartbreaking—and often all three at once. It’s about sports fandom the way Moby Dick is about whaling, brilliantly evoking its own little corner of the world even as it addresses big and even incendiary subjects with fearless honesty. ”
—James Hynes

“It’s a funny, wonderfully written memoir that is must-read for any sports fan.”
—Luke Reasoner, in the Charleston Post

Bury Me in My Jersey is a literary ode to family, his father, and all things Iggles. McAllister weaves his personal evolution into this tale of the unique brand of agony reserved for Philly-area football fans.”
South Jersey Magazine, Volume 7, Issue 4

“As an educated, reasonable, and remarkably self-aware narrator, McAllister makes an excellent guide through a world of football fandom that could otherwise be opaque to outsiders. He knows the game, and he certainly knows the Eagles, but he approaches these topics with a refreshingly accessible voice that will engage and interest readers who aren’t fans.”
—Justin St. Germain

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