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Synopsis

Change for us came so unexpectedly. One day my father was stalking the family as he had done for most of our lives, skulking from room to room, accompanied by a menacing silence that we had long ago accepted. And then he was gone.
 
Shadowboxing is a collection of ten linked stories in the life of a boy growing up in the inner-Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in the 1960s. A beautifully rendered time capsule, it captures a period of decay, turmoil and change through innocent, unblinking eyes.
 
Michael’s family, led by his long-suffering mother, live as though under siege, surviving his father’s drinking and rage as well as the forces of "urban renewal." Their neighborhood is a world of simple pleasures as well as random brutality; of family life and love as well as violence and tragedy. As Michael experiences all this with a combination of wonder and fear, he matures into a sensitive adult who can forgive but never forget.
 
Shadowboxing is a riveting story of loss and permanence, power and weakness, stoicism and resistance.
 
In the tradition of John Morrison, it captures the essence of working-class life in inner-city Australia. Written in a spare, understated style that carries a surprisingly powerful emotional impact, Shadowboxing is a brilliant debut.

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