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Logue, Antonia 1973(?)-

Logue, Antonia 1973(?)-

PERSONAL: Born c. 1973, in Park, County Derry, Ireland; immigrated to the United States. Education: Trinity College, Dublin, M.A., 1997.

ADDRESSES: Office—Fiction Writing Department, Columbia College, 624 S. Michigan, Rm. 1200, Chicago, IL 60605. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Grove/Atlantic, Inc., 841 Broadway, 4th Fl., New York, NY 10003. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Columbia College, Chicago, IL, instructor in fiction writing department, 2003-. University College, Cork, County Cork, Ireland, writer-in-residence.

AWARDS, HONORS: Irish Times Literature Prize for Irish Fiction, for Shadow-Box; "Twenty-one Writers for the Twenty-first Century" inclusion, London Observer.

WRITINGS:

Shadow-Box (novel), Grove Press (New York, NY), 1999.

Shadow-Box has been translated into French, German, Italian, Danish, Dutch, and Spanish.

WORK IN PROGRESS: Say of What You See in the Dark, a novel.

SIDELIGHTS: Irish writer Antonia Logue was born in County Derry, Ireland, and grew up in Brussels, Belgium. Logue teaches fiction-writing at Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois, and continues to focus on her writing work.

A journalist and literary critic in her native Ireland, Logue sold her first novel, Shadow-Box, at age twenty-three. The acclaimed novel "made Logue a critical darling at an age when most of her peers were still struggling with outlines," commented Paige Wiser in Chicago Sun-Times. Logue's European publisher, Bloomsbury, "earned a flurry of unexpected publicity when it paid a six-figure advance to an unknown twenty-two-year-old Irishwoman in return for a short plot synopsis and the promise of her novel to come," noted James Harkin in the New Statesman. "Three years later the story of the young writer who hits the literary jackpot has been done to death," Harkin observed, "but what distinguishes Antonia Logue is that she turns out to have been worth every penny."

Shadow-Box is structured as a series of fictional letters between two larger-than-life figures from the early twentieth century: Mina Loy, a flamboyant modernist poet, and Jack Johnson, the world's first black heavyweight boxing champion. Tying the two together is Arthur Cravan, a nephew of nineteenth-century Irish writer Oscar Wilde and himself a boxer as well as a purported con man and Loy's second husband. Disappearing mysteriously soon after his marriage to Loy, Cravan contacts his sparring partner, Johnson, some thirty years later for help in reuniting with Loy. In the course of their ensuing correspondence, Johnson and Loy become friends, recounting their lives and reminiscing about their mutual relationship with Cravan. Johnson describes his famous bouts and his struggle to overcome racism and prejudice outside of the ring, while Loy talks of her own combat against social convention and literary conservatism. "This correspondence between a brilliant femme fatale and a debauched egotist veers toward self-justification, self-promotion and self-obesssion," commented a Publishers Weekly critic. "Logue's depiction of their world," however, "is imaginatively conceived and elegantly executed," the Publishers Weekly writer noted.

"Logue has earned her advance and proved she can write," commented Jane Humphries in World of Hibernia. She "writes with a raw passion brought down to earth by the unfussy, conversational charm of her story-telling," Harkin remarked of the novelist, while Entertainment Weekly reviewer Megan Harlan observed that Logue tells her story with "believable, intimate exuberance." In Booklist reviewers Bonnie Smothers and Brad Hooper called Shadow-Box "a remarkable novel." Logue works with a broad range of social and cultural raw material and "has managed to work it all into a coherent whole is quite an achievement," commented Theo Tait in the Times Literary Supplement; "she describes upper-cuts, feints and dolphin punches with the same confidence with which she portrays the bohemian lives of Mina and her circle."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, July, 1999, Frank Caso, review of Shadow-Box, p. 1924; November 15, 1999, Bonnie Smothers and Brad Hooper, review of Shadow-Box, p. 602.

Chicago Sun-Times, March 11, 2003, Paige Wiser, "Irish Novelist Relocates—Just in Time for St. Pat's Series," p. 34.

Entertainment Weekly, September 10, 1999, Megan Harlan, review of Shadow-Box, p. 146.

Library Journal, July, 1999, Dianna Moeller, review of Shadow-Box, p. 134.

New Statesman, July 12, 1999, James Harkin, review of Shadow-Box, p. 49.

New York Times Book Review, November 14, 1999, Emily Barton, review of Shadow-Box, p. 25.

Publishers Weekly, June 28, 1999, review of Shadow-Box, p. 49.

Times Literary Supplement, June 18, 1999, Theo Tait, "A Bohemian Boxer," review of Shadow-Box, p. 24.

World of Hibernia, fall, 1999, Jane Humphries, review of Shadow-Box, p. 169.

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