Shadow Boxing
Coteau Books / 23 March 2010

Shadow Boxing by Sherie Posesorski Published by Coteau Books Reviewed by Shanna Mann $12.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-406-4 Meet Alice Levitt. She’s a 16-year-old “high functioning depressive” who lives with her egotistical criminal lawyer father. Alice deals with her beloved mother’s death and her disgust of her distant father by working compulsively –she has an A+ average and two part-time jobs. To calm the screams inside her head, Alice cuts herself. Her only lifeline is her cousin, Chloe, who takes care of her infected cuts and begs her to stop. But Chloe can’t help Alice much when she already has so many problems of her own. In fact, her main value to Alice is to give Alice someone to care for and think about so she won’t have to examine her own questionable behavior. Like the shadow boxes of the title, Alice’s world is starkly compartmentalized and monochromatic. When events are narrated by Alice, there is a palpable sense of the rage and futility she struggles ceaselessly against. The monocular focus on details like the bag people on the streets, the smell of local Yiddish take-out blended with the acrid stench of the tobacconist’s, and the irrelevant histories of local landmarks demonstrate…