SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2022 MILES FRANKLIN LITERARY AWARD
'I just don't believe that man is made of flesh and blood.' - Jack Johnson, World Heavyweight Boxing Champion
Pain was Joe Grim's self-expression, his livelihood and reason for being. In 1908-09 the Italian-American boxer toured Australia, losing fights but amazing crowds with his showmanship and extraordinary physical resilience. On the east coast Grim played a supporting role in the Jack Johnson-Tommy Burns Fight of the Century; on the west coast he was committed to an insane asylum. In between he played with the concept and reality of pain in a shocking manner not witnessed before or since.
Michael Winkler braids the story of Grim in Australia and meditations on pain with thoughts on masculinity and vulnerability, plus a talking goat and questionable jokes, in a haymaker of experimental non/fiction.
"The strangest book you are likely to read this year." - JM Coetzee
"Grimmish meets a need I didn't even know I had. I lurched between bursts of wild laughter, shudders of horror, and gasps of awe at Winkler's verbal command: the freshness and muscle of his verbs, the unstoppable flow of his images, the bizarre wit of the language of pugilism - and all the while, a moving subterranean glint of strange masculine tenderness." - Helen Garner
"A powerful blast of literary ingenuity and originality." - Lloyd Jones, author of Mister Pip
âEUR"All the makings of a cult classic. It's grotesque and gorgeous, smart and searching." - Beejay Silcox, The Guardian
About this Author
Michael Winkler is a writer from Melbourne, Australia, living on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation. He is the author, co-author and editor of numerous books, and won the Calibre Essay Prize for 'The Great Red Whale.' His journalism, short fiction, reviews, and essays have been widely published, and anthologised. His novel, Grimmish, was short-listed for the Miles Franklin Literary Award in 2022.
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