by Bullwinkel, Rita | Fiction
Published 28/03/2024 by Daunt Books in the United Kingdom
Paperback | 232 pages

SKU: '9781914198724 Category:


Headshot is the story of the eight best teenage girl boxers in the United States, told over the two days of a championship tournament and structured as a series of face-offs. As the girls’ pasts and futures collide, the specific joy and violence of the sport comes to life with electric energy, and a portrait emerges of the desire, envy, perfectionism, madness and sheer physical pleasure that motivates each of these young women to fight.

This is a novel about the radicalness and strangeness of being physically intimate with another human when you are measuring your own body, through competition, against theirs. What does the intimacy of a physical competition feel like? What does it mean to walk through life in the bodies we’ve been given, and what does it mean to use those bodies with abandon?

Funny, propulsive, obsessive and ecstatic, Headshot is equal parts subtle and intense, as it brings us to the sidelines of the ring and above and beyond it, examining closely the eight girls’ lives, which intersect for a moment – a universe that shimmers and resonates.

Headshot feels like the complete deal in a way we rarely see in debut fiction: efficient, forceful, just messy enough to be interesting and leaving space in the ring for the reader.’ Observer

‘An absolute knockout … its visceral, skilful prose grips from first to last.’ Declan Ryan, Daily Telegraph

‘[A] brilliant debut of teenage boxers… Bullwinkel’s writing is as poignant and visceral as the sport demands.’ Benjamin Myers, Guardian

‘[A] knockout debut novel.’ Emily Rhodes, Spectator

‘Compelling.’ Daily Mail