CAREER: Freelance writer and journalist for numerous periodicals.
AWARDS, HONORS: Michener Prize, Copernicus Society, 1991, for Hot Water; named Author of the Year, U.S. Naval Institute, 2002, for The Log of Matthew Roving.
Watersports Basics, Prentice-Hall (Englewood Cliffs, NJ), 1985.
Hot Water (novel), Soho Press (New York, NY), 1991.
One Great Game: Two Teams, Two Dreams, in the First-Ever National Championship High School Football Game, Atria Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Also author of novel The Log of Matthew Roving, serialized in Naval History magazine. Contributor to periodicals, including Harper's and New York Times.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer and editor Don Wallace was a freelance writer for such publications as Harper's and the New York Times before publishing his first novel, Hot Water. The book tells the story of Gar Foote, who works as a plant manager for Coca-Cola in Mississippi, and Gar's wife, Virginia, who spends her weekends participating in combat activities. When Gar hears of a change in the Coke formula, he stages a shutdown of the plant as a protest. Sybil Steinberg in Publishers Weekly called the book "humorous but unstructured" and praised Virginia as "the book's most compelling character."
In a different vein, Wallace's One Great Game: Two Teams, Two Dreams, in the First-Ever National Championship High School Football Game follows the rivalry between two California high school football teams: the Long Beach Poly Jackrabbits and the De La Salle Spartans of Concord. The two high schools were both known for their strong teams, yet had never played each other before. In 2001, they were ranked at the top of all high-school football teams in the country. The first-ever game between the two schools was scheduled that year and came to be called the National Championship High School Football Game. Wallace details the preparations of the two teams for the big showdown, as well as the climactic game itself. Bill Syken, in a review for Sports Illustrated, commented that "Wallace, a Poly grad, gives an evenhanded account while conveying the excitement the game created." A contributor to Publishers Weekly remarked that the book "captures the emotions of everyone involved in the quest to be a winning team."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Publishers Weekly, January 18, 1991, Sybil Steinberg, review of Hot Water, p. 42; August 11, 2003, review of One Great Game: Two Teams, Two Dreams, in the First-Ever National Championship High School Football Game, p. 271.
Sports Illustrated, November 17, 2003, Bill Syken, "Gridiron Duel: A Revealing Look at the Biggest High School Football Game Ever Played," p. Z11.