Michael J. Agovino is the author of "The Bookmaker: A Memoir of Money, Luck, and Family From the Utopian Outskirts of New York City" (HarperCollins, 2008) and "The Soccer Diaries: An American's Thirty-Year Pursuit of the International Game" (University of Nebraska Press, 2014). He has written for The New York Times, Esquire, The Village Voice, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Pitchfork, GQ, The New Republic, The New York Observer, The Wall Street Journal, Elle, Best American Sports Writing, and many others.
He was on staff at Esquire magazine for eight years, the Deputy Editor of Newsweek's web site for three years, and for two years, from 2016-2018, he was a Contributing Writer for The Village Voice.
In “The Bookmaker,” The Wall Street Journal wrote, “Mr. Agovino has crafted a sensitive and engrossing memoir....All of the characters in The Bookmaker are extraordinarily vivid, thanks in part to the author's uncanny ear for the accents and cadences of New Yorkers of every stripe.” The Washington Post wrote: “Agovino brings a gift for capturing urban sounds and symbols and a keen sense of shifting social status to his memoir of growing up in the Bronx,” while The New York Times said it was “a charming, evocative memoir about growing up a generation ago in Co-op City, the Bronx....‘The Bookmaker’ is delightfully ironic...an engaging story.” The book was also favorably featured on The Today Show, in New York Magazine, Vanity Fair, The New York Observer, The Brooklyn Rail, The New York Post, Kirkus, and many others.
“The Soccer Diaries" was described by Esquire Magazine as “funny and affecting” and the novelist Colum McCann wrote that it was “intimate and wonderfully written” while the writer Hampton Sides said that it was a “delightful, briskly readable memoir of sports obsession that deftly cuts across decades and cultures.” The book was also featured on BBC America with Katty Kay on PBS and many other U.S. and international media outlets. Booklist wrote: “Agovino clearly wants to make his own contribution to the canon, and now he has one, a thoughtful and enjoyable narrative of his passion for the game.”
Michael was born and raised in New York City and is a graduate of N.Y.U.