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Archive for November, 2012

Since Mongrel Empire Press published Fighters & Writers in 2010, I’ve come across a couple unexpected references to Norman, Oklahoma – the publisher’s base – in novels (by writers interested in fighters, as it happens). In Harlot’s Ghost Norman Mailer gives the narrator’s wife a professional rival from the city. In Tabloid City Pete Hamill has a damaged Iraq war veteran hail from the same town.

Both Mailer and Hamill were friends of José Torres, and they both dedicated books to the boxer. (I dedicated Fighters & Writers to Torres well after Mailer wrote Why Are We in Vietnam? but before Hamill’s Tabloid City came out in 2011). Hamill not only pledges Tabloid City to the memory of the former light heavyweight champion; he also describes a character donning “a robe from the 1957 Golden Gloves tournament, where his friend José won the middleweight championship.” (Torres was indeed a Golden Gloves champ, but in 1958… Artistic license on Hamill’s part, I guess.)

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