October 5, 2012

Angela James: The First Superstar of Women's Hockey

A massive wind storm knocked out my power for a few hours this afternoon. It turned out to be a great blessing, because it gave me a computer-less chance to sit down and read Angela James: The First Superstar of Canadian Women's Hockey is a new book offered by Tom Bartsiokas, Corey Long and Three O'Clock Press. Adam Graves contributes the foreword.

Buy The Book: Amazon.ca - Chapters - Amazon.com

Dubbed "the Wayne Gretzky of women's hockey," Angela James became the most dominant female player on the planet from the early 1980s through the mid 1990s. It was her rise that paved the way for the international growth of the women's game including its acceptance into the Olympic Games.

Unfortunately for James, her pioneering efforts left her a bit unknown compared to the benefactors like Hayley Wickenheiser, Cammi Granato and Geraldine Heaney. Which makes this book all the more important. Angela "AJ" James is the least known modern inductee in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Thanks to Bartsiokas and Long, we now get the chance to fully learn just who this hockey legend is.

James was certainly the unlikeliest hockey pioneer. The book opens with a look at her difficult childhood plagued with poverty and the most broken family story you may ever read about. She had to over come sexism and racism. Her talent and determination eventually took this hockey pioneer from struggling for ice time on boys' teams to the Hockey Hall of Fame where in 2010, she became the first woman, first openly gay player, and second black athlete to ever be inducted.

Angela James: The First Superstar of Canadian Women's Hockey charts James's rise to stardom from learning how to play on borrowed skates to dominating as an international success, from her controversial exclusion from the 1998 Olympic women's hockey team and its aftermath to becoming the passionate educator, coach and mother that she is today.

This authorized biography features exclusive access to James, as well as one-on-one interviews with those who know her best, including some of the biggest names in women's hockey such as Hayley Wickenheiser, Cassie Campbell-Pascall, Bob Nicholson, Melody Davidson and Cammi Granato. The book also includes an introduction written by former NHL star and Stanley Cup-winner Adam Graves, a long time friend of James.

This long-overdue biography a true contribution to the hockey literary world. This book may not grab the biggest headlines or reach the bestsellers lists, but years from now we will look back this Angela James biography as the most important addition to the hockey library from the class of 2012.

Finally we get to learn all about one hockey's great pioneers and true hockey legends. Angela James is an inspiration for aspiring girls and boys everywhere.


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