Shadow-Box by Antonia Logue

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Antonia Logue's first novel is already being acclaimed around the world as one of the year's most auspicious debuts, a work of rich and complex flavor and dazzling imagination that establishes her as an outstanding new writer. It is a sweeping story of love and friendship centered around the mysterious Arthur Cravan -- semiprofessional boxer, surrealist manque, influential art critic, legendary bon vivant, nephew of Oscar Wilde.In 1908 Jack Johnson was crowned the first black heavyweight champion of the world -- to the great chagrin of the American public, scandalized by his fast cars, debauchery, taste for white women, and the fact that he couldn't be beaten. Forced to flee to Europe to escape being jailed on trumped-up charges, he met Cravan, and together they dreamed up a brilliant scam to get Cravan to New York: they staged a fight to pay for his passage. Soon Cravan was shocking the arts patrons of New York society with a futurist manifesto-cum-drunken rant that landed him in jail -- his antics egged on by friends such as Marcel Duchamp and William Carlos Williams. But Cravan's time in New York also gave rise to a passionate love affair with the celebrated modernist poet Mina Loy. Theirs was a great love, interrupted by a great war. They had an idyllic wedding in Mexico, and then Cravan -- fleeing conscription into the army -- sailed into a hurricane and was presumed dead.From this remarkable story, Antonia Logue has fashioned a truly extraordinary novel. Letters between Jack and Mina beginning in 1946 sketch this expansive tale of love, art, and boxing, ranging across the United States and Europe in the era of tremendous social, artistic, and political upheaval before andduring World War II. Told with a powerful voice, warm humor, and a vigorous historical imagination that recalls Penelope, Lively and Rose Tremain, Shadow-Box is a novel that you will not soon forget.

About Antonia Logue

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Antonia Logue was born in Park, County Derry in 1972, and brought up in Brussels. She received her degree in English literature at Trinity College, Dublin, in 1995. From 1990 she worked as a freelance journalist, for newspapers including "The Irish Times," "The Guardian," and "The Times." "Shadow-Box "is her first novel, and the winner of the Irish Times Literature Prize for Fiction. She was recently named by the "Observer" one of the twenty-one writers for the twenty-first century. Antonia Logue currently lives in Dublin, where she writes full-time.
Published August 1, 1999 by Grove Pr. 308 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Entertainment Weekly

Shadow-box invents an absorbing 1946 correspondence between boxer Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight champion, and Mina Loy, the beautiful modernist poet.

Sep 10 1999 | Read Full Review of Shadow-Box

Austin Chronicle

Yet despite Logue's flair for journalistic style reporting that works well in Jack's focused and emotive descriptions of his boxing career, the voices of Jack and Mina fail to resonate any meaningful perspective to their otherwise colorful lives.

Oct 01 1999 | Read Full Review of Shadow-Box

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