Sunday You Learn How to Box by Bil Wright
A Novel

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Strength and resilience fuel an urban teen’s fight for survival in this acclaimed novel from Bil Wright that “delivers a knock-out punch” (Venus Magazine).

Fourteen-year-old Louis Bowman lives in a boxing ring—a housing project circa 1968—and is fighting “just to get to the end of the round.” Sharing the ring is his mother, Jeanette Stamps, a ferociously stubborn woman battling for her own dreams to be realized; his stepfather, Ben Stamps, the would-be savior, who becomes the sparring partner to them both; and the enigmatic Ray Anthony Robinson, the neighborhood “hoodlum” in purple polyester pants, who sets young Louis’s heart spinning with the first stirrings of sexual longing.

Bil Wright deftly evokes an unrelenting world with quirky humor and a clear-eyed perspective in this “deeply felt coming-of-age novel” that “reads like the best of memoirs” (School Library Journal).

About Bil Wright

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Bil Wright is an award-winning novelist and playwright. His novels include Putting Makeup on the Fat Boy (Lambda Literary Award and American Library Association Stonewall Book Award), the highly acclaimed When the Black Girl Sings (Junior Library Guild selection), and the critically acclaimed Sunday You Learn How to Box. His plays include Bloodsummer Rituals, based on the life of poet Audre Lorde (Jerome Fellowship), and Leave Me a Message (San Diego Human Rights Festival premiere). He is the Librettist for This One Girl’s Story (GLAAD nominee) and the winner of a LAMI (La Mama Playwriting Award). An associate professor of English at CUNY, Bil Wright lives in New York City. Visit him at
Published August 27, 2013 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. 225 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Children's Books. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sunday You Learn How to Box

Publishers Weekly

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To make matters more difficult, Louis is gay, a realization he comes to slowly as he becomes enthralled with Ray Anthony Robinson, an older boy his neighbors consider an ""out-and-out-hoodlum."" Enigmatic Ray becomes Louis's unofficial protector, though the two teens never speak of their bond.

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Austin Chronicle

When Louis finds himself confronted by Ray Anthony Robinson, a mysterious neighbor with a reputation for so-called craziness, their emotional kinship galvanizes Louis' emerging sense of identity and sexuality.

May 12 2000 | Read Full Review of Sunday You Learn How to Box: ...

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