Return once again to the enduring account
of life in the Mojo lane, to the Permian Panthers of Odessa --
the winningest high school football team in Texas history. Odessa
is not known to be a town big on dreams, but the Panthers help
keep the hopes and dreams of this small, dusty town going. Socially
and racially divided, its fragile economy follows the treacherous
boom-bust path of the oil business.
In bad times,
the unemployment rate barrels out of control; in good times, its
murder rate skyrockets. But every Friday night from September to
December, when the Permian High School Panthers play football, this
West Texas town becomes a place where dreams can come true. With
frankness and compassion, Bissinger chronicles one of the Panthers'
dramatic seasons and shows how single-minded devotion to the team
shapes the community and inspires-and sometimes shatters-the teenagers
who wear the Panthers' uniforms.
Night Lights offers a biting indictment of the sports craziness
that grips . . . most of American society, while at the same
time providing a moving evocation of its powerful allure."
—New York Times Book Review
story of a high school football season. . . . Exciting, funny
and, above all, horrifying."
G. Bissinger has won the Pulitzer Prize, the
Livingston Award, the National Headliner Award, and the American
Bar Association's Silver Gavel for his reporting. He is the author
of the highly acclaimed Three Nights in
August, and is a contributing
editor at Vanity Fair. He lives in Philadelphia.