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A book of voices, landscapes and seasons, Ann Quin's newly republished novel mirrors the multiplicity of meanings of the very word 'passage' - of music, of time, and of life itself. A woman, accompanied by her lover, searches for her lost brother, who may have been a revolutionary, and who may have been tortured, imprisoned or killed. Roving through a Mediterranean landscape, they live out their entangled existences, reluctant to give up, afraid of the outcome.Reflecting the schizophrenia of its characters, the novel splits into alternating passages, switching between the sister and her lover's perspective. The lover's passages are also fractured, taking the form of a diary with notes alongside the entries. An intricate system of repetition and relation builds across the passages. 'All seasons passed through before the pattern formed, collected in parts.'Erotic and tense, in Quin's compelling third novel the author allowed her writing freer rein than before, and created a work ahead of its time: her most poetic, evocative and mysterious novel yet.
Feminist writers come together to respond to the crisis of 2020 in this unique collection of essays, interviews, and fiction.Spring 2020. When everything changed. As life around the world retreated behind closed doors, gender inequalities and systemic racism were brought to new and shocking prominence. Womxn of all backgrounds and experiences were disproportionately affected by the crisis. Essential debate and action was, for a time, silenced. Then we re-emerged in protest and started to rethink our fight for equality.So, what happens now?Challenging, inspiring and fiercely optimistic, This Is How We Come Back Stronger is an intersectional feminist collection for our times. Published on the one-year anniversary of lockdown, writers from both sides of the Atlantic reflect on what matters most in these difficult days, and what the future can hold for us all.20% of every sale will be donated to charities Women's Aid and Imkaan in the fight to end domestic abuse and support survivors.Featuring contributions from Amelia Abraham, Yomi Adegoke, Rosanna Amaka, Laura Bates, Fatima Bhutto, Lauren Bravo, Molly Case, Catherine Cho, Sara Collins, Melissa Cummings-Quarry and Natalie A. Carter, Juli Delgado Lopera, Lindsey Dryden, Stella Duffy, Sarah Eagle Heart, Fox Fisher, Shirley Geok-lin Lim, Mireille Cassandra Harper, Kerry Hudson, Akasha Hull, Juliet Jacques, Jude Kelly, Dorothy Koomson, Kuchenga, Helen Lederer, Francesca Martinez, Gina Miller, Jessica Moor, Kate Mosse, Jess Phillips, Layla F. Saad, Radhika Sanghani, Jenny Sealey, Shaz, Lisa Taddeo, Michelle Tea, Virgie Tovar, Sophie Williams.
Medals and Prizes brings together eight of the best stories and novellas by John Metcalf, a virtuosic champion of the short form. Metcalf was born in Carlisle and emigrated to Canada as a young man, where both his innovations as a prose stylist and his talent as an editor are legendary. Until now, he has never been published in Britain. Spanning more than fifty years, and ranging from some of his earliest published stories to the astonishing late-career 'Medals and Prizes', the work gathered here shows us a writer whose voice and ingenuity, at every stage of his career, is unmistakeable.Entertaining and moving and mischievous, these elegant fictions are a homecoming for a writer ready to assume his rank among Britain's great short fiction masters.
'Fame is the only thing worth having. Love is temporary brain damage. Or so thinks Henry Sinclair, a failing psychiatrist, whose career-breaking discovery has been pinched by a supervisor smelling of nipple grease and hot-dog brine. An emotional miser and manipulator par excellence, desperate for the recognition he's certain his genius deserves, Henry claws his way into the limelight by transforming his girlfriend-a singer-in-ascendance, beloved for her cathartically raw performances-into a drug experiment. As he systematically works to reinforce feelings of worthlessness while at the same time feeding off Astrid's fame, and as Astrid collapses deeper into dependence, what emerges is a two-sided toxic relationship: the bullying instincts of a man shrunk by an industry where bullying is currency, and the peculiar strength of a star more comfortable offloading her talent than owning her brilliance. Pinging between their apartment in New York (where they watch endless episodes of The Sopranos), a nudist campsite in Greece (where the tantalizingly handsome Gigi thwacks octopi into the sand), and a celebrity rehab facility in Paris (founded by the cassock-wearing and sex-scandal plagued 'artist' Hypno Ray), What You Could Have Won is a relationship born of regrettable events, and a novel about female resilience in the face of social control.
S has disappeared from Ruth and Leonard's home in Brighton. Suicide is suspected. The couple, who had been spying on their young lodger since before the trouble, begin to pour over her diary, her audio recordings and her movies - only to discover that she had been spying on them with even greater intensity. As this disturbing, highly charged act of reciprocal voyeurism comes to light, and as the couple's fascination with S comes to dominate their already flawed marriage, what emerges is an unnerving and absorbing portrait of the taboos, emotional and sexual, that broke behind the closed doors of 1950s British life.
Through war and its aftermaths, a woman fights to keep her daughters safe. As a girl she sees her village sacked and her beloved father and brothers flee. Her life in danger, she joins the rebellion in the hills, where her comrades force her to give up the baby she conceives. Years later, having outlived countless men, she leaves to find her lost daughter, travelling across the Atlantic with meagre resources. She returns to a community riven with distrust, fear and hypocrisy in the wake the revolution. Hernandez' narrators have the level gaze of ordinary women reckoning with extraordinary hardship. Denouncing the ruthless machismo of combat with quiet intelligence, Slash and Burn creates a suspenseful, slow-burning revelation of rural life in the aftermath of political trauma.
An underemployed chef is pulled into the escalating violence of his neighbour's makeshift porn channel. An elderly piano student is forced to flee her home village when word gets out that she's fucked her thirty-something teacher. A hose pumping cava through the maquette of a giant penis becomes a murder weapon in the hands of a disaffected housewife.In this collection from the winner of Sweden's August Prize, Lina Wolff gleefully wrenches unpredictability from the suffocations of day-to-day life, shatters balances of power without warning, and strips her characters down to their strangest and most unstable selves. Wicked, discomfiting, delightful and wry, delivered with the deadly wit for which Wolff is known, Many People Die Like You presents the uneasy spectacle of people in solitude, and probes, with savage honesty, the choices we make when we believe no one is watching ... or when we no longer care.
'I must find my own complicated junkie to have violent sex with. In 1994, nothing seemed like a better idea, save being able to write about it later.' Michelle Tea is our exuberant, witty guide to the hard times and wild creativity of queer life in America. Along the way she reclaims SCUM Manifesto author Valerie Solanas as an absurdist, remembers the lives and deaths of the lesbian motorbike gang HAGS and listens to activists at a trans protest camp. This kaleidoscope of love and adventure also makes room for a defence of pigeons and a tale of teenage goths hustling for tips at an ice creamery in a 'grimy, busted city called Chelsea'. Unsparing but unwaveringly kind, Michelle Tea reveals herself and others in unexpected and heartbreaking ways.Against Memoir is the winner of the 2019 PEN Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay. Best known as writer of fiction and memoir, this is the first time Tea's journalism has been collected. Delivered with her signature candour and dark humour, Against Memoir solidifies her place as one of the leading queer writers of our time.
Can you be a pilgrim without leaving your life behind? How does it feel to approach everyday places with the same reverence as grand cathedrals? And how are we changed by even the smallest of journeys? James Attlee asks these questions and more in his thoughtful, streetwise, and personal account of a pilgrimage to a place he thought he already knew: the Cowley Road in Oxford, right outside his door. Attlee's Cowley has little to do with the dreaming spires of his city. Leaving tourism and student life aside, Attlee instead presents a vital and delightfully motley collection of places, people, languages, and cultures. From a sojourn in a sensory-deprivation tank to a furtive visit to an unmarked pornography emporium, from halal shops to Brazilian art dealers to reggae clubs to quiet churchyards, Attlee celebrates the appealing and homegrown eclecticism that so often comes under attack from predatory developers. Drawing inspiration from sources ranging from Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy to contemporary art, Isolarion is at once a charming road movie, a battle cry raised against creeping homogenisation, and a love song to the gloriously messy real life of the city he calls home.
On March 10, 1920, in Pachuca, Mexico, the Compania de Santa Gertrudis - the largest employer in the region, and a subsidiary of the United States Smelting, Refining and Mining Company - may have committed murder. The alert was first raised at six in the morning: a fire was tearing through the El Bordo mine. After a brief evacuation, the mouths of the shafts were sealed. Company representatives hastened to assert that "e;no more than ten"e; men remained inside the mineshafts, and that all ten were most certainly dead. Yet when the mine was opened six days later, the death toll was not ten, but eighty-seven. And there were seven survivors.A century later, acclaimed novelist Yuri Herrera has reconstructed a workers' tragedy at once globally resonant and deeply personal: Pachuca is his hometown. His work is an act of restitution for the victims and their families, bringing his full force of evocation to bear on the injustices that suffocated this horrific event into silence.
Waiting by the canal in Malmo, a young cellist meets a disorientated junkie. The encounter sends him into a turmoil of memories, voices and associations. As the cellist oscillates between present and past, he is paralysed by doubt and confusion and he begins to question his own place in society.From sprawling social housing estates, via basement clubs and squat parties, and culminating in a dramatic role reversal, Wretchedness is a delirious trip through Europe's underbelly. With a rhythmic, mesmerising flow, Tichy's novel explores the possibility of social mobility and the ambivalent desire to escape your origins, asking how to love your neighbour when that neighbour is an addict, a criminal, wretched.
This collection of essays leads the reader into the searching and wildly fertile imagination of Gerald Murnane, one of the masters of contemporary Australian writing, author of the classics Border Districts and Tamarisk Row, and winner of the Patrick White Literary Award.Delicately argued and finely written, they describe his dislocated youth in the suburbs of Melbourne and rural Victoria in the 1950s, his debt to writers as unlike as Adam Lindsay Gordon, Marcel Proust and Jack Kerouac, his obsession with racehorses and grasslands and the Hungarian language, and above all, his dedication to the worlds of significance that lie within, or just beyond, the familiar details of Australian life.
Originally published from 1985 to 2012, these stories offer an enthralling introduction to the work of one of contemporary fiction's greatest magicians.While the Australian master Gerald Murnane is best known for his longer works of fiction, his short stories stand among the most brilliant and idiosyncratic uses of the form since Borges, Beckett, and Nabokov. Spare, transparent and profane, they range from the haunting and mesmeric to the quietly terrifying, from 'Finger Web', which tells a fractal tale of the scars of war and the roots of misogyny, to 'Land Deal', which imagines the colonisation of Australia and the ultimate vengeance of its indigenous people as a series of nested dreams.No one else writes like Murnane, and there are few other authors alive still capable of changing how - and why - we read.
These are the children of revolutions, and this is their story. This is the Caribbean. This is Argenis Luna: an artist who no longer paints, a heroin addict who no longer uses, and an overgrown child trying to make sense of his inheritance in a country where his once-revolutionary father is now part of the ruling elite. Thrown out of rehab in Havana, with Goya's tyrannical god Saturn on his mind, Argenis picks his way through the detritus of an abandoned generation: the drag queens, artists, hustlers and lovers trying to build lives amidst the wreckage. Mesmerising and visionary, Made in Saturn is a hangover from a riotous funeral, a rapid-fire elegy for the revolutionary spirit, and a glimpse of hope for all who feel eclipsed by those who came before them.
What I did to them was terrible, but you have to understand the context. This was London, 2016 . . .Bohemia is history. Paul has awoken to the fact that he will always be better known for reviewing haircuts than for his literary journalism. He is about to be kicked out of his cheap flat in east London and his sister has gone missing after an argument about what to do with the house where they grew up. Now that their mother is dead this is the last link they have to the declining town on the north-west coast where they grew up.Enter Emily Nardini, a cult author, who - after granting Paul a rare interview - receives him into her surprisingly grand home. Paul is immediately intrigued: by Emily and her fictions, by her vexingly famous and successful partner Andrew (too old for her by half), and later by Andrew's daughter Sophie, a journalist whose sexed-up vision of the revolution has gone viral. Increasingly obsessed, relationships under strain, Paul travels up and down, north and south, torn between the town he thought he had escaped and the city that threatens to chew him up.With heart, bite and humour, Luke Brown leads the reader beyond easy partisanship and into much trickier terrain. Straddling the fissures within a man and his country, riven by envy, wealth, ownership, entitlement, and loss, Theft is an exhilarating howl of a novel.
'I don't expect anyone to believe me,' warns the narrator of this novel, a Mexican student called Juan Pablo Villalobos. He is about to fly to Barcelona on a scholarship when he's kidnapped in a bookshop and whisked away by thugs to a basement. The gangsters are threatening his cousin-a wannabe entrepreneur known to some as 'Projects' and to others as 'dickhead' - who is gagged and tied to a chair. The thugs say Juan Pablo must work for them. His mission? To make Laia, the daughter of a corrupt politician, fall in love with him. He accepts . . . though not before the crime boss has forced him at gunpoint into a discussion on the limits of humour in literature.Part campus novel, part gangster thriller, I Don't Expect Anyone to Believe Me is Villalobos at his best. Exuberantly foul-mouthed and intellectually agile, this hugely entertaining novel finds the light side of difficult subjects - immigration, corruption, family loyalty and love - in a world where the difference between comedy and tragedy depends entirely on who's telling the joke.
As clear and relentless as the cold air, Love unfolds over one winter's evening. Single mother Vibeke and her son Jon have just moved to a small, remote town in the north of Norway. Tomorrow Jon will be nine. As Vibeke gets changed after work, Jon wonders what surprises his mother has prepared for him. He leaves the house certain she will make him a cake. But preoccupied with concerns of her own, she too ventures out. Inextricably linked yet desperately at odds, mother and son make their lonely ways through the unforgiving night.Beautifully translated into English by Martin Aitken, this edition is the twenty-eighth international publication of Love. Hanne orstavik's astonishing grasp of human fragility and her economy of form power this acknowledged masterpiece of Norwegian literature.
Kings, lords, liars, usherettes, goal-hangers, gun-men and prostitutes, Whether or not these stories bear any relation to life as it is lived in Endland (sic) is not my problem and good riddance to all those what prefer to read about truly good, lucky and nice people - you won't like this crap at all.A comical and brutal weave of parables gone wrong, Endland holds a broken mirror to England. In its garish but strangely familiar world of empty tower blocks, 24-hour cyber cafes and bomb sites, a motley collection of misfits, wanderers and charmed drunks do their best to survive. Nothing is stable in Endland and what's more, the gods have started drinking at lunchtime, which can only lead to trouble. Conjured in a mix of slang, pub anecdote, folktale and science fiction, Endland is the nightmare unfolding just outside the window - a glitchy parade of aging bikers and ghost children, cut-price assassins and witless wannabe celebs.The world fashioned by Thatcher, Google, NATO, ICANN, Brexit, Big Brother, Bin Laden and Trump needs new narratives to make sense of it. In Endland, with feverish wit and a broken compass, Etchells unpicks the myths and strange realities we're caught up in.
'She thought that it was precisely when things get uncomfortable or can't be shown that something interesting comes to light. That is the point of no return, the point that must be reached, the point you reach after crossing the border of what has already been said, what has already been seen. It's cold out there.'This hybrid novel-part research notes, part fictionalised diary, and part travelogue-uses the stories of polar exploration to make sense of the protagonist's own concerns as she comes of age as an artist, a daughter, and a sister to an autistic brother. Conceptual and emotionally compelling, it advances fearlessly into the frozen emotional lacunae of difficult family relationships. Deserving winner of multiple awards upon its Catalan and Spanish publication, Brother in Ice is a richly rewarding journey into the unknown.
Santiago, Chile. The city is covered in ash. Three children of ex-militants are facing a past they can neither remember nor forget. Felipe sees dead bodies on every corner of the city, counting them up in an obsessive quest to square these figures with the official death toll. He is searching for the perfect zero, a life with no remainder. Iquela and Paloma, too, are searching for a way to live on. When the body of Paloma's mother gets lost in transit, the three take a hearse and a bottle of pisco up the cordillera for a road trip with a difference. Intense, intelligent, and extraordinarily sensitive to the shape and weight of words, this remarkable debut presents a new way to count the cost of a pain that stretches across generations.
Plucked from her life on the streets of post-apocalyptic Santo Domingo, young maid Acilde Figueroa finds herself at the heart of a Santeria prophecy: only she can travel back in time and save the ocean - and humanity - from disaster. But first she must become the man she always was - with the help of a sacred anemone. Tentacle is an electric novel with a big appetite and a brave vision, plunging headfirst into questions of climate change, technology, Yoruba ritual, queer politics, poverty, sex, colonialism and contemporary art. Bursting with punk energy and lyricism, it's a restless, addictive trip: The Tempest meets the telenovela.
Clement Killeaton transforms his father's gambling, his mother's piety, his fellow pupils' cruelty and the mysterious but forbidden attractions of sex into an imagined world centred on horse-racing and played out in the dusty backyard of his home, across the landscapes of the district, and the continent of Australia. An unsparing evocation of a Catholic childhood in a country town in the late 1940s, Tamarisk Row's lyrical prose is charged with the yearning, boredom, fear and fascination of boyhood.First published in Australia in 1974, and previously unpublished in the UK, Tamarisk Row is Gerald Murnane's debut novel, and in many respects his masterpiece.
A man moves from a capital city to a remote town in the border country, where he intends to spend the last years of his life. It is time, he thinks, to review the spoils of a lifetime of seeing, a lifetime of reading. Which sights, people, books, fictional characters, turns of phrase and lines of verse will survive into the twilight? Feeling an increasing urgency to put his mental landscape in order, the man sets to work cataloguing his memories, little knowing what secrets they will yield and where his 'report' will lead.Border Districts is a jewel of a farewell from one of the greatest living writers of English prose. Shortlisted for the 2018 Miles Franklin Award on publication in Australia, this is Murnane's first work to be published in the UK in thirty years.
'Suddenly it hits you: you're not twenty; you're not young any more . . . and in the meantime, while you were thinking about something else, the world has changed.'Birthday begins with a fiftieth birthday. It comes and goes without fanfare, but just a few months later, an apparently banal comment that reveals a gap in the author's knowledge of the world prompts him to sit down in a cafe and write. As he sifts through anecdotes and weaves memories together, Aira reflects on the origin of his beliefs and his incapacity to live, on literature understood from the author's and the reader's point of view, on death and the Last Judgement.
To Leave with the Reindeer is the account of a woman who has been trained for a life she cannot live. She readies herself for freedom, and questions its limits, by exploring how humans relate to animals. Rosenthal weaves an intricate pattern, combining the central narrative with many other voices - vets, farmers, breeders, trainers, a butcher - to produce a polyphonic composition full of fascinating and disconcerting insights. Wise, precise, generous, To Leave with the Reindeer takes a clear-eyed look at the dilemmas of domestication, both human and animal, and the price we might pay to break free.
Ash collects words, climbs trees and swims in a deserted lake with her beloved seven-year-old, Charlie. Bemused by everyday life, she has a rich and singular interior world. Over the course of a relentlessly hot summer, Charlie begins to pull away, and in a desperate attempt to reconnect with her daughter Ash does something unforgivable. As the gulf between them grows, Ash's life begins to slip out of her hold. Winner of the 2018 Northern Book Prize, Slip of a Fish is a joyously artful and quietly devastating portrait of motherhood, loss and love, in all its kaleidoscopic complexity.
'A man called Berg, who changed his name to Greb, came to a seaside town intending to kill his father. . . 'So begins Ann Quin's first novel, a debut 'so staggeringly superior to most you'll never forget it' (The Guardian). Alistair Berg, hair restorer, shares a mistress with his father. He will, he decides, eliminate his rival. After mutilating a ventriloquist's dummy, he finds himself accidentally seduced by the man he needs to kill. Mordant, heady, dark, Berg is Quin's masterpiece, a classic of post-war avant-garde British writing.
A fifteen-year-old girl and her father, Johannes, take a cruise to Greece on the Proleterka. Jaeggy recounts the girl's youth in her distinctively strange, telescopic prose: the remarried mother, cold and unconcerned; the father who was allowed only rare visits with the child; the years spent stashed away with relatives or at boarding school. For the girl and her father, their time on the ship becomes their 'last and first chance to be together.' On board, she becomes the object of the sailors' affection, receiving a violent, carnal education. Mesmerised by the desire to be experienced, she crisply narrates her trysts as well as her near-total neglect of her father. Proleterka is a ferocious study of distance, diffidence and 'insomniac resentment'.
It's the 1950s, and Lorrie is unimpressed when her family moves to the remote Scottish island where her grandad runs a whisky distillery. She befriends Sylvie, the shy girl next door: 'The slightest smile from Sylvie was a fluffy elephant at the fair. It had to be won with a clear aim,' writes Lorrie. Yet fun-loving Lorrie isn't sure Sylvie's is the friendship she wants to win. As the adults around them struggle to keep their lives on an even keel, the two young women are drawn into a series of events that leave the small town wondering who exactly Sylvie is and what strange gift she is hiding.Readman's feel for emotional nuance and flair for mixing strangeness with poignant detail make this long-awaited debut novel one to savour.
Born between the wars in a working-class South London street, Harry Miles is a sensitive and capable boy who attends school on a scholarship and grows into a thoughtful young man. Full of energy and literary ambition, he visits Battersea Library in search of New Writing: instead, however, he discovers Evelyn, a magnetic and independent-minded woman from a narrow, terraced street not far from his own. This is a love story, albeit an unconventional one, about two people who shape each other as they, their marriage and their country change. From London before the sexual revolution to the lewd frescos of Pompeii, from the acrid devastation of Churchill's North African campaign to the cloying bounty of new-built suburbs, Dear Evelyn is a novel of contrasts, whose portrait of a seventy-year marriage unfolds in tender, spare, and excruciating episodes.