Bamberger, Michael 1960-

views updated

Bamberger, Michael 1960-
(Michael F. Bamberger)


Born April 15, 1960, in Patchogue, NY; son of Joseph A. (an engineer and college professor) and Dorothy F. (a teacher) Bamberger; married; wife's name Christine; children: Ian, Alina. Education: University of Pennsylvania, B.A., 1982. Hobbies and other interests: Skiing, body-surfing.


Home—Philadelphia, PA. Agent—Kris Dahl, International Creative Management, 40 W. 57th St., 17th Fl., New York, NY 10019.


Reporter for the Vineyard Gazette, 1982-84; freelance writer, 1984-86; Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA, staff writer, 1986-95; Sports Illustrated, senior writer, 1995—.


The Green Road Home: A Caddie's Journal of Life on the Pro Golf Tour, Contemporary Books (Chicago, IL), 1986.

To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure,, Viking (New York, NY), 1992, 2nd edition, Gotham Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Bart & Fay (play), produced in Philadelphia, PA, 1996.

Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2004.

This Golfing Life, Atlantic Monthly Press (New York, NY), 2005.

Contributor to magazines and newspapers.


Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School was optioned by Paramount Pictures, 2003.


Michael Bamberger is a senior writer for Sports Illustrated who has written several nonfiction works on golf and on education. His first book, the 1986 The Green Road Home: A Caddie's Journal of Life on the Pro Golf Tour, was the result of a six-month stretch as a caddie to professional golfers on the pro tour. The result of that research was a "perceptive and candid" look at the tour, as well as at the connection between golfer and caddie, as Jeremiah Tax noted in a Sports Illustrated review of the book.

Bamberger deals with golf in two further titles: To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure and This Golfing Life. For To the Linksland, Bamberger once again took a leave from journalism to work as a caddie, but this time on the European tour. His book recounts those experiences while also examining the roots of the sport of golf. Atlantic critic Phoebe-Lou Adams concluded that Bamberger "has written about golf for an audience of golfers, and has done that superbly well." In This Golfing Life, Bamberger reminisces about his own fond experiences on golf courses and links, as a player, a caddie, and as a journalist. Part memoir, and part reportage, This Golfing Life includes adaptations of some of his previously published golf journalism. A critic for Kirkus Reviews concluded that "Bamberger knows how to tell a story, and he displays no fear of sentimentality."

Bamberger moved away from sports topics for his 2004 title, Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an AmericanHigh School. Bamberger followed students and teachers for a year at Pennsbury High School in Levittown, Pennsylvania. The climax of the year was the school's prom, which also involved the citizens of the small town. The book earned critical praise. Kliatt reviewer Olivia Durant commended Wonderland 's "highly engaging" narrative. Similarly, Vanessa Bush, writing in Booklist, found the book to be "an amusing and insightful look at an American rite of passage." A Publishers Weekly contributor felt that the students Bamberger followed in his work provide "a good window onto at least a segment of contemporary teen culture." More praise came from a Kirkus Reviews critic, who called the book an "affecting, low-key chronicle."



Atlantic Monthly, July, 1992, Phoebe-Lou Adams, review of To the Linksland: A Golfing Adventure, p. 95; July-August, 2004, Tom Carson, review of Wonderland: A Year in the Life of an American High School, p. 147.

Booklist, June 1, 2004, Vanessa Bush, review of Wonderland, p. 1674.

Education Next, spring, 2006, David Ferrero, review of Wonderland, p. 76.

Entertainment Weekly, May 21, 2004, Adam B. Vary, "Fast Times at Pennsbury High," review of Wonderland, p. 84.

Hollywood Reporter, May 15, 2003, Zorianna Kit, "‘Pennsbury Set as Par Prom Date,’" p. 5.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2004, review of Wonderland, p. 369; September 1, 2005, review of This Golfing Life, p. 949.

Kliatt, July, 2005, Olivia Durant, review of Wonderland, p. 40.

Publishers Weekly, May 11, 1992, review of To the Linksland, p. 59; May 3, 2004, review of Wonderland, p. 180.

San Francisco Chronicle, June 13, 2004, Rachel Elson, review of Wonderland.

Sports Illustrated, September 22, 1986, Jeremiah Tax, review of The Green Road Home: A Caddie's Journal of Life on the Pro Golf Tour, p. 8; December 5, 2005, Jeff Silverman, review of This Golfing Life, p. G15.

Washington Post, May 30, 1986, review of The Green Road Home; October 18, 2005, Leonard Shapiro, "Rulings Are for Officials, Not Reporters."


Detroit Free Press Online, (June 27, 2004), Marta Salij, "School's Out," review of Wonderland., (April 14, 2006), "Senior Writers: Michael Bamberger."