About the Book
These were the exasperated words of Mike Brearley's mother, as he once again trod mud into the family home after a long day playing outdoors. They were also an unwitting but half-accurate prediction, for Brearley would become one of the most successful sportsmen of his generation by playing cricket for Cambridge, Middlesex and then becoming one of England's finest captains. But for Brearley, cricket wasn't just a physical activity, it was also an intellectual game, offering the chance to bring closer together body and mind. When his cricketing career came to end - during his playing days he had had a hiatus as a philosophy lecturer - he eschewed sporting commentary for a career as a psychoanalyst. In Turning Over the Pebbles, which he calls a 'memoir of the mind', Brearley reviews his life with its attendant emotions, tensions and moves. It is also a book of his second thoughts and reassessments, allowing him to understand more fully things that were obscure to him earlier. After all, he says, 'captaining ourselves, like captaining a team, requires a willingness allow thoughts and feelings their space'.
Deeply thoughtful, erudite and elegantly framed, this book seamlessly blends all aspects of Brearley's life into a single integrated narrative. With wide-ranging meditations on sport, philosophy, literature, religion, leadership, psychoanalysis, music and more, Brearley delves into his private passions and candidly examines the various shifts, conflicts and triumphs of his extraordinary life and career, both on and off the field.
About the Author: Michael Brearly
Michael Brearley read Classics and Moral Sciences at St John’s College, Cambridge. During his time as an undergraduate and postgraduate student he played for and captained the University cricket team and played for Middlesex. After a time following an academic career as a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he returned to professional cricket, captaining Middlesex from 1971 to 1982. Having been selected for England in 1976, he captained the side between 1977 and 1981. He later became President of MCC, and was a member of the World Cricket Committee and for six years its Chair.
On retiring from cricket, he trained as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and served as President of the British Psychoanalytical Society from 2008 to 2010. He has also been a cricket journalist for The Times and has written on the psychology of sport for the Observer. He has written several books on cricket and leadership, which combine his psychoanalytic understanding and insight with his experience on the cricket ground. The latest book (Turning over the Pebbles) is a memoir, which looks again at what led him from one thing to another, and how he views these choices and tensions now.
Conversation with: Mona Mehta, Associate Dean, Arts, School of Arts and Science, Ahmedabad University
Date: Wednesday, January 31, 2024
Time: 6:00 PM IST
Venue: Ahmedabad University Bookstore, University Centre, Central Campus