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CLMP Publishers LGBTQI+ - Literature & Fiction Literature & Fiction - General

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The Boxer’s Mask

ISBN: 9781938144950
Binding: Paperback
Author: John C. McLucas
Pages: 332
Trim: 6 x 9 inches
Published: 09/01/2022

A handsome young Roman actor stands at the dawn of his career.  A chance meeting on the Metro introduces him to a circle of Anglo expats who find in him the embodiment of their dreams and doubts about Italy and its people.  As a pandemic closes theaters, the whole world must don the actor’s mask.  Truth, trust, friendship, love, and art—all must be reimagined, rehearsed, and performed afresh.


John C. McLucas is the author of novels Dialogues on the Beach and Spirit’s Tether, as well as short fiction and poetry in English and Italian.  His fiction centers on relationships between and among gay and straight characters and on the performing arts in multicultural contexts.   

He is Professor Emeritus of Italian at Towson University, where he taught for 36 years. He has numerous scholarly articles and translations related to Italian literature, especially Ariosto, Calvino, and Tullia d’Aragona.  He is a trained classical singer and an ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church(USA). He lives in Baltimore in a house he calls Palatino, with pets named after Italian autocrats and explorers.  His personal seal reads ROMAMOR.


"We wander Rome with a wonderful cast of expats and Italians in this intelligent, wistful, and humane novel of our current strange times.  An exploration of the masks we wear, both literal and metaphorical; of the performance of ourselves and of language; and of the ineffability of love." --  Elizabeth Harris, translator of Antonio Tabucchi’s Tristano Dies and For Isabel: A Mandala

"This book is “the celebration of a friendship an intimate and refined partnership across languages and cultures, against the backdrop of the Eternal City which, page by page, becomes the undisputed protagonist of the novel” -- Michele di Mauro, novelist.