20140729

Simon & Schuster re-release three classics from acclaimed sports writer Donald McRae

Fans of the Guardian writer Donald McRae will be delighted to discover that three of his classic sports books have been reissued by Simon & Schuster.

Dark Trade, originally published by Mainstream, established McRae as a sports writer of distinction when it won the William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 1996.

Written over a five-year period, it was based on a series of encounters with boxers, including Mike Tyson, James "Lights Out" Toney, Oscar de la Hoya, Roy Jones Jr, Michael Watson and Chris Eubank. Nine out of the 10 publishers to whom he submitted his proposal rejected it before Mainstream saw its potential.

Two years later, by which time the South African-born McRae had given up his office job in London to write full time, he was shortlisted for the William Hill prize again for Winter Colours, also published by Mainstream.

In Winter Colours, McRae explored the place occupied by rugby union in the culture of the different countries in which it is played, inspired by his meetings with James Small, the winger who was part of the South Africa team that was part of one of sport's great iconic moments at Ellis Park in Johannesburg in 1995, when they won the World Cup in the presence of Nelson Mandela.

The third classic reissue is In Black and White, William Hill Sports Book of the Year in 2002, which tells the story of the friendship between Jesse Owens and Joe Louis, Olympic gold medallist and World champion boxer, black American icons born into an era when their country was still riven by poverty and racial divisions.

All three have been updated with new chapters and stylish cover designs.

McRae returns to boxing next year with a new book entitled A Man's World: The Double Life of Emile Griffith, which tells the story of an American boxer who not only managed to managed to conceal his homosexuality while pursuing a successful career in the fight game but also spoke out against apartheid in South Africa in the 70s.

Buy Dark Trade: Lost in Boxing from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.

Buy Winter Colours: The Changing Seasons of Rugby from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith

Buy In Black and White: The Untold Story of Jesse Owens and Joe Louis from Amazon, Waterstones or WHSmith.

Donald McRae has also written about the London sex trade in Nothing Personal, the extraordinary race between four heart surgeons to carry out the first heart transplant in Every Second Counts and the great 1920s American lawyer Clarence Darrow in The Old Devil. Find out more.

He collaborated with Olympic cycling champion Victoria Pendleton on her autobiography Between the Lines and wrote a personal memoir of growing up in the South Africa of apartheid, Under Our Skin.

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