- 105,00 kr
A PROPULSIVE AND GRITTY SPORTS DRAMA FOR FANS OF KING RICHARD, WARRIOR AND SA COSBY’S RAZORBLADE TEARS
‘Powerful, bruising and beautiful… Those who haven’t discovered John Vercher yet are seriously missing out’ Chris Whitaker
‘A riveting portrait of masculinity… so exquisite is the result, I would go so far as to say John Vercher could well be the next Great American Novelist’ Kia Abdullah
‘Shrewd and explosive’ New York Times
FROM THE AUTHOR OF THREE-FIFTHS, A SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN AND FINANCIAL TIMES BOOK OF THE YEAR
How do you save yourself when you’re the person you trust least of all?
Xavier "Scarecrow" Wallace is a biracial Black MMA fighter on the wrong side of thirty, who is facing the comeback fight of his life. He is also losing his battle with pugilistic dementia- a struggle he can no longer deny.
In the nursing home of his father, a white man suffering from Alzheimer's, Xavier witnesses shocking episodes that expose ugly truths about his past and his family.
And as the big fight draws near, a sparring session with a younger competitor goes horribly wrong, leaving Xavier faced with a dangerous dilemma: throw his match or suffer the deadly consequences.
After the Lights Go Out is a propulsive exploration of biracial identity, the price that athletes pay to entertain, and one man's battle to reconcile his past- even when he can't hold on to his present.
FURTHER PRAISE FOR AFTER THE LIGHTS GO OUT
‘Vercher writes with the intensity of championship rounds. It had me hooked from start to finish’ Kevin Powers, author of The Yellow Birds
‘Exactly the type of book one needs about the fighting life… Brilliant’ Ryan Gattis, author of All Involved
‘Think Warrior by way of Fat City… Xavier “Scarecrow” Wallace is a character I just can’t shake’ William Boyd, author of Shoot the Moonlight Out
‘A stunning, stone-cold knockout’ P. J. Vernon, author of Bath Haus
‘A spellbinding tour de force… Written in deft and visceral prose’ Lauren Wilkinson, author of American Spy
‘John Vercher writes like a fighter, a dancer, an athlete… After the Lights Go Out left my heart black and blue’ Wiley Cash, author of A Land More Kind Than Home
Vercher (Three-Fifths) strides back in the ring with the explosive story of a troubled Philadelphia MMA fighter whose career has stalled. When 30-something Xavier Wallace gets the call to participate in a contender fight after being sidelined for months following a bust for accidentally taking a banned substance, he jumps at the chance. Xavier's pride is on the line, as a brain injury has been robbing him of memory and cognitive function. His career is managed by champion boxer Shot, his glass-eyed cousin who owns the gym where he trains and to whom Xavier owes a huge debt. Xavier's family, meanwhile, was fractured after his Black mother, Evelyn, left him and his white father, Sam, when Xavier was a child. The truth about why Evelyn left is finally revealed by a racist Sam, who suffers from dementia. The crux of the story lies in Xavier's seemingly final chance to show his mettle despite a cacophony of personal issues, physical challenges, and an emotionally draining reunion with Evelyn. Adding complexity and depth is Xavier's internal monologue ("You were born for violence, my guy. We all are. Just some of us are more attuned to it than others"), which alternates between motivation, reflection, and self-sabotage. Vercher expertly captures the brashness and discipline of combat sports as well as the harsh realities of the fighting life, delivering all of it in a swiftly paced triumph complete with a surprising one-two punch of a conclusion. This is simply brilliant. Agent: David Hale Smith, InkWell.