Boxing clever: Headshot, by Rita Bullwinkel, reviewed

Rita Bullwinkel’s knockout debut novel adopts the structure of the boxing tournament it vividly describes. Eight teenage girls are competing in the ‘Daughters of America Cup’ at Bob’s Boxing Palace, Reno. We encounter them in the ring as they progress through four opening rounds and two semis to the final. The author details the exhilarating, pummelling progress of the fights – ‘the hit is quick, like a jump rope whipping forward’ – and the physicality of the girls’ bodies, ‘so close to each other that, from far away they look like two parts of the same animal’. She also nimbly delves beneath the protective headgear into the girls’ interior worlds

In praise of femininity

New York Who was it that first coined the expression ‘It ain’t over until the fat lady sings’? The great Yogi Berra got credit for it, but what he really said was: ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’ Well, I think it is all over, although it’s going to be dragged out by The Donald, who never knows when to stop. But as Roger Kimball writes in American Greatness, the fix was in; that’s why the man who lives in a basement remained in the basement while Trump flew manically all over the country rallying the troops. Apparently the cheating was on an industrial scale. We’ll know the final outcome