Confessions of a She-Fan:

The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees

Advanced Praise   •   Reviews   •   Inspiration   •   Read the Excerpts

Baseball gets a chick lit spin in this saga of Jane's turbulent on-again, off-again love affair with the New York Yankees - an entertaining journey into the land of pinstripes.

Two months into the 2007 baseball season, novelist Jane Heller, an obsessed Yankee fan heartsick over their poor play, announced her intention to divorce the team, on grounds of mental cruelty, in the pages of the New York Times. Her words inflamed the passions of sports lovers across the country, and her piece quickly became the newspaper's most e-mailed and talked-about article in the week it ran.

The intense reaction of fans forced Heller to look inward, and to re-examine her feelings about wining and losing. Was she a "bandwagon" fan, as some branded her? A traitor? In this witty, observant, and decidedly female look at the nature of the bond between fan and team, Jane Heller goes in search of answers. With her husband as her travelling partner, she literally follows the Bronx Bombers through the rest of their challenging 2007 season, hoping to score interviews with the players, watch every game in every city, and inject some excitement into her marriage.

Through interactions with other fans, as well as members of the media covering the Yankees, plus game-by-game analyses, Heller learns personal life lessons about competition, loyalty, and acceptance -- and about why baseball, like any truly romantic relationship, requires commitment, patience, and a deep, abiding love.

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Advanced Praise

This is a Donna Quixote story about a cynical Yankee fan who spends a season traveling the country going to ballgames and who in the end regains the joy, the magic, and the faith in her beloved team. Along the way Yankee fans will fall in love with "the Yankees' number one fan," Jane Heller.

Peter Golenbock
Author of the New York Times bestsellers Dynasty and The Bronx Zoo

A book for those of us men who thought women didn't get sports....A delightful, insightful ride on the Yankee Clipper.

James Burrows
Emmy Award-winning director of "Cheers" and "Will & Grace"

Jane Heller knocks it out of the park with Confessions of a She-Fan. In 1978 I discovered the Yankees (mostly I discovered Ron Guidry). I was hooked and have been ever since. My one-year-old daughter is already in pinstriped onsies. I can understand perfectly the passion of a fellow "she-fan."

Kit Golden
Producer of the Academy Award-nominated "Chocolat"

Confessions of a She-Fan is a love story about baseball and a baseball story about love - one of the most unusual and delightful books about a true fan's connection to the game I've ever read. It's impossible to read without smiling out loud!

David Fisher
Co-author with Terry Bradshaw of the New York Times bestseller It's Only a Game

I was rooting for Jane Heller every step of the way. If I had a pennant, I would have waved it in the air.

A.J. Jacobs
Author of the New York Times bestseller The Year of Living Biblically



Reviews

Examiner.com

October 1, 2009
By Rosa St. Claire

Jane Heller is the best writer on the planet when it comes to the romantic-comedy genre, but now the savvy author has added another notch to her belt with her hilarious version of baseball as seen through a female fan's eyes....This book should be a mandatory read for every baseball fan in the world. Only a woman who truly loves the game could have energized herself into the strenuous traveling which ensues as she follows the team from game to game. The New York Yankees should name Jane Heller as an "honorary NY Yankee" for claiming so many fans back to the ecstasy of the game.


The Common Scold (Blog of Law Technology News)

July 2009
By Monica Bay

A funny yet amazingly nuanced non-fiction book that reads like a juicy novel....I flat-out loved the book on so many levels. As a journalist, I resonated to (Heller's) subtle revelations about how tough it is to cover the Yankees, and how guarded folks like Suzyn Waldman and John Sterling must be to cope with all the demands on them....Her light, respectful touch gave dignity to even some of the young naive women who don't really understand the Jose Canseco perils of being too eager of a fan. And she gracefully explores how much going to even one game can mean to many folks who are facing astounding personal challenges.
Reprinted with permission of Incisive Media. All rights reserved.


The Voice of Yankees Universe (Yankees Blog)

May 16, 2009
By Lucy Albero

Not only is this book extremely entertaining and brilliantly written, but as another avid She-Fan, I related to the book in a very intimate way.


Traveling Baseball Babes

April 30, 2009
By Serena Ahne

Here is a woman that we could be proud to share the title of "she-fan" with. Jane demonstrates rather quickly not only that her love for the Yankees is genuine, but that she also is very knowledgeable about the sport. Her writing is honest, sharp, and very funny....You may not always agree with what she has to say, but at least her opinions are coming from an intelligent and knowledgeable place, unlike many other fans that seem to enjoy getting in our faces at bars and shouting, "Mets/Yankees suck!" In short, the book is a wonderful representation of female fans.


River Ave Blues (Yankees Blog)

April 29, 2009
By Benjamin Kabak

Throughout the book, Heller relates her emotional ride as the Yanks stumble out of the block, recover over the summer, make the playoffs and then lose when a bunch of bugs attack Joba Chamberlain on a hot October day in Cleveland. She talks as though a She-Fan is a distinct species of fan, but it's not. In the end, Heller is just like the rest of us who live and die with the Yankees.....Heller weaves a fun tale of fandom, and it makes for some baseball reading to which the most dedicated and obsessed fan can easily relate.


The Voice of Yankees Universe (Yankees Blog)

April 26, 2009
By Jeff Fleishman

A few weeks ago, I mentioned four Yankee-centric books that I wanted to read this spring/summer. I recently finished the first, Confessions of a She-Fan by Jane Heller. This was one of the best Yankee books that I have read in a long time. Heller follows the Yankees throughout the second half of 2007 after "divorcing" them early on in the season. For a guy like me, this book was great, especially since 2007 had so many interesting moments. So go out and get yourself a copy. You won't be sorry.


Blogging the Bombers (NY Daily News Blog)

March 31, 2009
By Mark Feinsand

Jane does a wonderful job chronicling what turned out to be Joe Torre's final season in pinstripes, from the run at the wild card spot through the disappointing ALDS loss to the Indians, featuring the bug game. She takes the reader along for the ride, giving them the perspective of the fans, the media and, eventually, an actual Yankees player. (I won't spoil the ending by telling you who it is.) This is not your typical baseball book, but it's a great read for any fan.


Ron Kaplan's Baseball Bookshelf

March 13, 2009
By Ron Kaplan

It's quite a leap from romance novels to baseball non-fiction, but Jane Heller has traversed the expanse surprisingly well....Confessions is a rollicking account of the 2007 season. The Yankees started on such a horrid note that Heller almost gave up on them. She put her dark thoughts into an essay and, on a whim, sent it to sports columnist Harvey Araton of The New York Times, who thought so much of the piece he had it published. The overwhelming response -- both positive and negative -- was the impetus for Confessions....The team's rapid improvement and eventual Wild Card slot makes for an exciting ride and a dramatic read. In a way, this is a book about a book and how success in one genre doesn't guarantee a similar outcome in another.


It Is High, It Is Far, It Is....caught. (Yankees Blog)

March 13, 2009
By Yankee Shamus

I for one trekked through a blizzard to buy the damn thing, and let me say as I sat in my car buried in snow off Rte. 1 in Camden, Maine, the first few chapters grabbed me and engulfed me so quickly that I didn't even notice when the Wrecker had finally arrived to tow my wayward ass out of the ditch. Within ten hours I had finished the book and I am halfway through reading it again.....Heller provides the reader a bleacher seat next to her at the many ballparks she attends with her detailed and descriptive writing. Her fear of puddle-jumper propeller planes is cute, and her husband Michael's stadium food anecdotes are hysterical. Her descriptions of a chance encounter with Alex Rodriguez at a Toronto restaurant are genuine and laugh out loud funny.


The Tampa Tribune ("Sports Bookie" Column)

March 4, 2009
By Bob D'Angelo

Many witty, outrageous and laugh-out-loud moments in Heller's first nonfiction effort......What writing. Breezy, sarcastic and funny, Heller writes with a marvelous sense of timing and pace....You don't have to like baseball to enjoy Jane Heller. And you don't have to like romantic comedy, either. But what a combination. If her "chick lit" books are anything like Confessions of a She-Fan, I might have to start buying them.


Rants, Raves, and Random Thoughts (Phillies Blog)

February 27, 2009
By Sue Mudrick

I was laughing out loud, to the point that my husband or children were asking me what was so funny.....Suffice it to say that she-fans of any team will enjoy it.....My favorite parts of the story are like bookends -- one at the beginning (in the prologue), when Jane sights A-Rod in a Toronto restaurant, and one near the end, when Jane ventures into enemy territory at Fenway Park. After having been told to be on her best behavior and not draw attention to herself as a Yankee fan, what Jane finally does at the end of the game is worthy of a You-Tube moment!


Paullebowitz.com

February 26, 2009
By Paul Lebowitz

Jane Heller has a rare combination of attributes that make her the perfect person to write a book like Confessions of a She-Fan: she's a passionate Yankee fan; she actually knows the game; she has a sense of humor; and she can write. What results is a comic masterpiece which delves not only into the ups and downs of a hardcore fan, but how that adoration and obsessiveness affects their loved ones....The book isn't just about being a fan or about trying to get close to one's obsessions; but it's about maintaining that loyalty no matter what. The Yankees front office is rude? So what? The stadium personnel are abusive? Big deal. The team isn't completing their championship mandate? Whatever. The love of a team goes beyond what happens on the field.


Subway Squawkers (Yankees Blog)

February 20, 2009
By Lisa Swan

Confessions of a She-Fan is passionate, funny, smart, and sassy. It's not just an accurate depiction of the highlights (A-Rod's 500th homer) and low lights (the bug game!) of the 2007 season, but it's a great look at what it is like to be a fan. While the book is from a female Yankee fan's perspective, the observations will hit home, whether you're male or female, and whether you're a Yankee fan, Met fan or (shudder!) a Red Sox fan. Heller hits a homer with her first non-fiction effort.


Library Journal (Starred Review)

February 15, 2009

Enough with the books that write about sports with the assumption that women are outsiders even as fans! Popular chick-lit author Heller (Princess Charming) proves that she's not just a hilarious writer, but a serious and highly informed fan of the Yankees, as she sets out to follow her team, literally, from game to game during the 2007 season. Her perspective lends the book its special character, seasoned with salty language and lots of authentic conversation. Guess which 2007 Yankee took the time to talk with her! For all public libraries.


This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes (Yankees Blog)

February 16, 2009
By Rebecca Glass

An honest portrayal of a fan's relationship with a team....Confessions puts into perspective how amazing the 2007 season really was, even if October left us all a bit deflated.


A Diatribe from a Law Student (White Sox Blog)

February 14, 2009
By Jennifer Jezierski

If you haven't purchased or read this yet, get on it! It's a must-read for every she-fan, whether your fandom is brand new, five years old (me!), or lifelong. It's also a must-read for every he-fan because you never know if you'll find yourself with a she-fan in your life. This could potentially be a partial instruction manual on how to deal with a she-fan. Well done, Jane....I couldn't stop laughing, even at the expense of my own White Sox.


Redbird Chatter (Cardinals Blog)

February 10, 2009
By Kathy Spillman

Laugh out loud funny, both in obvious and subtle ways. Reflective, smart and packed with all the emotions that go along with being the thing they call a baseball fan....Jane's journey to prove her worth as a true fan takes her across the country where she and her husband visit ballparks and meet all kinds of fans: angry, crazy, drunk, life-long, first timers, die-hard, tenacious, sweet, courageous and hopeful....This book is a great read - a must read for she-fans and he-fans alike.


We've Got Heart (Nationals Blog)

February 5, 2009
By Kristen Hudak

In addition to entertaining us with her book-long quest to interview a Yankee, Jane really captured the essence and experience of the female baseball fan....Ladies, it's a fabulous read, especially if, like us, you need to be inspired again and remember how to get past the loses. To the fellas, it would sure make a great Valentine's Day present for the special "she-fan" in your life.


Baseball Hot Corner (Yankees Blog)

February 3, 2009
By Mark Serio

Yankee fans get a treat. Novelist and Yankees-lifer Jane Heller writes a chronicle of the Bombers' 2007 season....Written in a humorous, conversational style, Confessions of a She-Fan is entertaining. Be prepared for perpetual smiling: "Molina comes out of the hotel, and everybody yells 'Melky!'"....An enjoyable memoir that belongs on any Yankee fan's bookshelf.


This Fan's Life (Yankees Blog)

February 3, 2009
By Bernadette Pasley

Jane takes readers on a rollercoaster ride of emotions that the typical sports fan knows all too well: unconditional, unrequited love; painful betrayal; the sadness of a broken heart; anger and rejection; and the courage to love again....Go out and get the book and get ready to remember.


Respect Jeter's Gangster (Yankees Blog)

February 2, 2009
By Fernando Alejandro

Fantastic! The story itself is funny and brings back to life the 2007 season with all its difficulties and eventual victories. The best part is that it is written from the perspective of the fan. It's easy to relate to the emotions described in the book, from anger and sadness to absolute joy. It's what a New York baseball season is all about.


Sox and Pinstripes (Yankees/Red Sox Blog)

February 2, 2009
By Vince Mercandetti

A masterpiece....This isn't just a diary of box scores and mistakes to make us feel bad about the season that was not to be; it's an actual tell-all of a loyal Yankees fan's feelings game by game. It's a retelling of how a Yankees fan is born, how a teenaged-girl obsessed with baseball players can get into trouble and how a lifetime of memories about the Yankees can be funny, scary and touching all at once....She holds nothing back, and it makes for both a hysteria level of humor and jogs your memory to the point where the scores no longer matter when you're reading....Let Ms. Heller take you through the magical adventure that is a baseball season before the real one begins....You will be hooked in about two pages. By the end of the first section after over 60 pages, you will start to brighten up knowing the Yankees are about to turn a corner. By the time you get halfway through, you might want to marry Jane....When you finish, you're going to be crying from happiness, sadness, sentiment and exuberance....The book comes out tomorrow, February 3rd, and the Yankees Universe is better off for it.


John Sterling, the "Voice of the Yankees"

February 2009

Confessions of a She-Fan is stream-of-consciousness from someone who's both a passionate Yankee fan and a terrific writer. It's laugh-out-loud funny and it also moves you to tears.


NY Post

February 1, 2009
By Billy Heller

Forget A-Rod. The one really suffering a "Single White Female" obsession with the Yankees is chick-lit author Jane Heller. She was so distraught with the losing ways of the 2007 Bombers, she vowed to "divorce the team on grounds of mental cruelty." Instead, she wound up following the Yanks on the road, husband by her side, trying to get insight into her fandom and fans in general. Now, as Heller finds herself competing on the bookshelves with her team's ex-manager, she gives us a couple of reasons why fans should select her book over his: "I didn't hire someone to write my book for me" and "Torre's book is deadly serious. Mine has jokes. In this economy, we fans need a laugh."


Newsday.com

January 28, 2009
By Kat O'Brien

Very entertaining. It's not the typical type of sports book about a team with lots of player interviews and nitty-gritty on what goes on behind the scenes. It's from a fan's perspective, the same type of perspective one might see from some of the more dedicated fan bloggers. Given that Heller is a professional writer, though, it's very well written....There are lots of entertaining anecdotes about she (sic) and her husband's journey through the season, and in a reversal from the stereotype, her husband is the one exasperated at her Yankees obsession....If you're looking for a new Yankees book other than "The Yankee Years," I recommend this one.


Was Watching (Yankees Blog)

January 28, 2009
By Steve Lombardi

Jane does an excellent job of chronicling the Yankees' 2007 season. But this is not just a dry reporting of game events and news, etc. What you hear when you read Heller's words is the voice of a diehard fan sharing what they are experiencing, thinking, and feeling. And Jane mixes in enough 'personal' stuff to provide the reader with some background on her life....I could not put the book down -- the highest compliment I can offer to a book. In fact, I went out of my way to find time to read it. If that's not gripping, what is?....Being a "dude," I was not sure if I would enjoy reading a book entitled "Confessions of a She-Fan." However, I truly found it a great read....Expect yourself to become a fan of Jane Heller -- just like I am now.




Inspiration

After writing 13 novels in as many years, I was feeling a little burned out on romantic comedies. I decided to try something a bit different -- a series featuring four female friends who take annual trips together and solve mysteries. I was writing the first of the projected three books when the 2007 baseball season started. So much for my fiction writing.

As everyone knows by now, I'm a diehard Yankee fan, having been born and raised in the New York area, and even though I live in California now, I still watch every game.

The Yankees got off to a really slow start in '07. I was shocked. I was used to seeing them win. I had taken their good fortune for granted. So when they kept losing and found themselves in last place, I got angry. I felt betrayed by my Yanks and heartbroken that they were playing so badly. They were my daily dose of escape and they were not providing it!

One night I stormed into my office, sat down at the computer and did what writers do: I wrote. I vented about how I was divorcing the Yankees on the grounds of mental cruelty. I was equating my passion for my team with that of a romantic relationship. I was expressing my frustration -- in a tongue-in-cheek way, I thought.

After I finished the piece, I sat back in my chair and exhaled. Then I noticed the sports section of the New York Times on my desk. Staring at me was a column by Harvey Araton with his email address at the end. On a whim, I sent him my divorce tirade. Two days later I heard from the editor of the sports section saying he wanted to publish the article in the paper that Sunday.

I was thrilled! The Yankees were still losing, but I was getting a byline in the New York Times! I assumed my fellow Yankee fans would relate to my anguish and get a kick out of the article, maybe even check out my web site and take an interest in my novels.

Wrong. I had struck a chord, all right, but not in a good way. I was berated for being a "bandwagon fan." Sure, there were some readers who got the joke and emailed to say how much they enjoyed my article. (Click on "Other Writing" for the link to the divorce essay.) But for the most part I was blasted as a traitor for deserting the Yankees when they were down.

The huge response to the article led me to question my fandom. Was I a bandwagon fan? Had I been spoiled by all the championships? And worst of all, had I been neglecting my husband and focusing too much of my love and attention on 25 men in pinstripes?

I decided to write my first nonfiction book to answer these and other questions -- and as an excuse to hang around the Yankees for half a season. I've always enjoyed first person, diary-style confessionals, particularly if they're humorous, so that's the kind of book I set out to write. After I came back from nearly three months on the road, I discovered that writing nonfiction was a blast. I didn't have to make anything up! I was my own protagonist! I had all the plot twists right there in my laptop! Still, it was quite a feat to craft 600+ pages of raw material into an entertaining tale with a beginning, middle and end.

Writing nonfiction, it turns out, is just another kind of storytelling. I hope readers of my fiction will give Confessions of a She-Fan a try.

Confessions of a She-Fan: The Course of True Love with the New York Yankees