The Sportswriter by Richard Ford (1986)Read about the other entries on the list.
Ford’s novel about a failed novelist turned sportswriter was one of Time magazine’s five best books of 1986. It is the first of a trilogy of novels featuring Frank Bascombe: Independence Day and The Lay of the Land followed soon after. Bascombe’s life seems idyllic, yet he is actually a man in crisis: his novelistic ambitions are unfulfilled, his wife has divorced him and his eldest son dies in a tragic accident.
Also see Bob Greene's five best books about writing for the newspaper.
The Sportswriter appears on Aifric Campbell's top 10 list of portrayals of working life in fiction.