Jesse Katz, son of former Portland Mayor Vera katz, has written amemoir The Opposite Field. Faced with the collapse of his son’s Little League program–consisting mostly of Latino kids in the largely Asian suburb of Monterey Park, California–Jesse Katz finds himself thrust into the role of baseball commissioner for La Loma Park. Under its lights the yearnings and conflicts of a complex immigrant community are played out amid surprising moments of grace. Each day–and night–becomes a test of Jesse’s judgment and adaptability, and of his capacity to make this peculiar pocket of L.A.’s Eastside his home.
While Jesse soothes egos, brokers disputes, chases down delinquent coaches and missing equipment, and applies popsicles to bruises, he forms unlikely alliances, commits unanticipated errors, and receives the gift of unexpected wisdom. But there’s no less drama in Jesse’s complicated personal life as he grapples with a stepson who seems destined for trouble, comforts his mother (a legendary Oregon politician) when she’s stricken with cancer, and receives hard lessons in finding–and holding on to–the love of a good woman.
To meet Jesse in person, attend his book signing tonight at Powell's City of Books, 1005 W Burnside, at 7:30.