The literary world is abuzz today after the third memoir in professional wrestler Chris Jericho’s autobiographical trilogy was shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize for nonfiction.
The book, The Best in the World: At What I Have No Idea, is near-universally regarded among literary critics as the apex of the autobiographical art, and the Pulitzer nod cements Jericho among such eminent memoirists as Ernest Hemingway, T.E. Lawrence and Anne Frank.
Jericho’s first two books — both chilling social commentaries about postmodern human condition ingeniously cloaked in knuckleheaded road stories about professional wrestling — are widely considered masterpieces, but have been overlooked by the Pulitzer committee.
Jericho’s latest book is shortlisted alongside Anand Gopal’s No Good Men Among the Living, an account of America’s misbegotten intervention in Afghanistan, and Evan Osnos’ Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China. Obviously, Jericho will win the Pulitzer.
Jericho’s literary triptych has influenced a generation of aspiring authors, and introduced the term “froot” into the common parlance of our times.
“Jericho deftly uses the metaphor of rock-and-roll music, in the guise of an imaginary band called Fozzy, to dissect the epistemological implications of an increasingly technocratic zeitgeist,” writes New York Times literary critic Troy Martin.
“The chapter titled ‘Spider in My Mouth,’ about the immutable echoes of postcolonial hegemony, is devastatingly profound.”
Jericho’s critical acclaim even overshadows that of fellow professional and literary giant Mick Foley, though Foley is the far more prolific of the two, as he is currently completing his next seven autobiographies, all due to be released by year’s end.