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Irish author Logue reads new vignettes

Justin Tardiff | Monday, November 24, 2003

On Friday afternoon, Irish author Antonia Logue read vignettes from her forthcoming novel Say of What You See in the Dark in a small engagement sponsored by the Keough Institute of Irish Studies.

Logue received much critical acclaim for her first novel, Shadow Box, which earned her the Irish Times Literature prize for Irish Fiction. The London Observer appointed her to its distinguished list of 21 writers of the 21st century.

She introduced her reading with an excerpt from Shadow Box, a fictionalized account of the life of heavyweight-boxing champion, Jack Johnson.

When questioned about her choice of subject matter for this novel, Logue said that she felt little pressure to write about Ireland because the country has successfully dealt with many of its troubles.

“[I had] the luxury to write about something that had nothing to do with Ireland,” she said.

Logue also celebrated her freedom to revisit Ireland in her new novel.

The setting of Say of What You See in the Dark returns the author to her native Northern Ireland in 1972, she said.

“It is in a different ballpark, with a totally different tone as well,” Logue said.

The two vignettes Logue selected for her reading depicted artfully crafted “snapshot” images of two incidental characters. The entire novel is comprised of brief portraits such as these, Logue said.

Next spring, Logue will teach fiction writing classes as a full-time faculty member at Columbia College in Chicago, Ill.