The Comet and Other Stories
By Sonya Moor
Published 24th October 2023
A circus performer dreams of a life more ordinary. An artist’s model steps out of pose. An international stateswoman lets down her hair. And a young mother nurtures bloodlust.
The female protagonists of these short stories emerge from master artworks, newsreels, mother-in-
law jokes, music videos… Whether setting out from Greenwich Village backstreets, Paris pavements or Home Counties lawns, they make their choices, weighing risk against opportunity, as they set about the messy business of becoming themselves.
By turns tender, playful, provocative and poignant, these are stories of people ready to disrupt,
subvert, reinvent and transcend the boundaries of their worlds.
‘Exacting. Disturbing. Beautiful. A marvel of a collection.’
Pre-order your copy for £7.50 + P&P HERE
By Deborah Templeton
Published 13th April 2023
Awakened from the life she has been living far inland, a woman stands at a fjordside and remembers the open sea. She remembers the freedom of a distant childhood, and the chances she did not take. Water’s Edge is a richly evocative meditation on memory and the unlived life. From one woman’s quiet regret, it opens out on to a landscape of epic consequences.
The Water’s Edge project is a collaboration between composer Monty Adkins and writer Deborah Templeton. The two artists entered into a free-flowing creative conversation in which fragments of music inspired text, and fragments of text inspired music. As each artist followed themes and images in the other’s work, story and sound co-emerged. The result is three artworks: a short story, a musical composition, and a radiophonic work which sets an abridged version of the story within the music. The radiophonic work is available as a free download to purchasers of Water's Edge.
£7.50 + P&P Includes accompanying free audio download
By Anne Worthington
Published 11th July 2023
Tom Pullan knows that the people who visit him are trying to tell him something, but he cannot remember what. He knows the faces in his memory, the ones he loved, are not the ones around him now.
We are drawn into a world where brutal events from the past lie just below the surface.
Plunged inside the characters’ heads, we experience their thoughts and feelings: sorrow and
rage they cannot share; the intense feelings and turbulent sexuality of a teenage girl; a boy
who saw something that casts a long shadow over his life.
What do we do with a lifetime of unheard truths, questions and fears? The Unheard is a
novel about memory, and what happens to the experiences that are too much for us but we
are unable to leave behind.
‘There is a rhythmic, mesmeric power - perhaps even a haunting musicality - to Anne
Worthington’s prose style. Here, she gives voice to her unheard characters in a poignant,
evocative story that is an intensely moving modern allegory of our times.’
Pablo Picasso's Paris Nightlife
By Dave Haslam
Published 4th May 2023
Available to pre-order HERE
'Adventure Everywhere' is the seventh book in Dave Haslam's acclaimed Art Decades series. Picasso in Paris in the 1900s was advancing the frontiers of art in a city vibrant with hedonism and creativity. Life after dark fascinated and inspired him. On the occasion of his first exhibition in Paris, a critic wrote that Picasso is an artist ‘who never believes the day is over, in a city that offers a different spectacle every minute’. In Adventure Everywhere, Dave Haslam portrays the world of drink, sex, music, drugs, art, and chaos that constituted Picasso’s nightlife. Picasso’s relationships – and debts – to poets and other artists are described; his misogyny is addressed; and no bar, cabaret club or dance hall is left unvisited in this vivid and intriguing account of how significant nightlife was in Picasso’s Paris, and how central in his art.
By Nicholas Royle
Nicholas Royle’s fifth short story collection, Manchester Uncanny investigates the strange ways of the ‘original modern city’. Haunted by the ghosts of Ian Curtis and James Anderton as much as by its own pre-bomb sooty demeanour, Manchester today is a city of shiny surfaces that may or may not offer a true reflection of who we are – or who, in a world increasingly in thrall to identity politics, we think we are.
‘Royle is a master of the uncanny’
Manchester Review of Books
Sixteen stories from the last two decades, including three brand-new pieces, demonstrate Royle’s range of voice and approach, from accessible experimentation – a story designed to be read in any one of 362,880 ways, another made exclusively out of the lyrics to Unknown Pleasures – to more conventional but equally dark narratives of snooker halls, secret pools, university life and ‘people texture’.
By David Rose, with images by Leah Leaf
10th November 2022
Interpolated Stories is a collection of eight stories by David Rose, two of which are published for the first time. It also features eight images created by the artist Leah Leaf in response to the stories. The book is the first of a series of collaborations between writers and artists that Confingo will publish over the next two years.
These texts were born out of a sense of frustration with the author's own short stories, along with much other current short fiction, and a need to open up the formal possibilities of the short story; an acknowledgement that the world is too various, reality too multistranded, to be restricted to a single perspective or narrative plane. The resulting texts – using a variety of discursive voices to interrupt and sometimes disrupt previously written stories – are therefore partly provocative, partly ludic, but offer possibilities to be further explored, in opening up the short story form, adding further dimensions, and breaking the narrative fourth wall.
Order your copy HERE
By Graham Wilson
Available to order now HERE
Completed shortly before his death in 2021, Growing Down bears eloquent and poignant testimony to its author’s wit, sagacity and style. An episodic novel rather than a collection of short stories, each episode is self-contained and complete, exploring – in a richly imaginative, often experimental manner – the complex and mysterious effects of time and place on memory.
‘Growing Down is Wilson at his innovative and inimitable best’
Viv Cripps, Millrace
Graham Pearce Wilson is the author of fifteen books. He is well known for his publications on mountains and mountaineering, with Climbing Down chosen as a Guardian Travel Book of the Week in 2002, and A Rope of Writers shortlisted for the 2006 Boardman Tasker Prize. Other works include a collection of short stories (Mickey Braddock’s Works Do) and an examination of the ‘low’ characters in Shakespeare's plays (Shakespeare and the Common Man). ‘GP’ was Head of English and 1st XV rugby coach at the King’s School in Macclesfield, in a legendary career which spanned four decades. He inspired and influenced hundreds of students, from Ian Curtis, founder member of Joy Division, to the Macc Lads.
The Guiltless Bystander
By David Wheldon
7th July 2022
Available to order now HERE
The Guiltless Bystander is the first collection of short stories by the award-winning novelist David Wheldon. Completed shortly before his death in 2021, they bear testament to the wit, warmth and variety of his writing. There is light and shade: some of these stories are just plain funny, while others are dark and inconclusive, recalling the subconscious worlds of Franz Kafka or Luis Buñuel. Ultimately, though, the contradictions inherent in these tales come to have an elusive rationality.
Not All Roses
The Life & Times of Stephen Cresser
By Dave Haslam
Available now from our SHOP
‘Not All Roses’ is the sixth book in Dave Haslam’s acclaimed Art Decades series. In the late 1980s, Steve Cresser – aka Cressa – was hailed in i-D magazine as ‘the face of Manchester’, he went on the road with Happy Mondays, and was onstage with the Stone Roses at their big shows and their first TV appearance – even being described as ‘to all intents and purposes the fifth member of the Stone Roses’. In the mid 1990s he co-founded a band called Bad Man Wagon, became close friends with both Damien Hirst and Joe Strummer but then disappeared from view.
What happened to Cressa? He became addicted to heroin, and homeless, and was attacked and hospitalised. Haslam tells Cressa’s profoundly moving and intriguing story from the inside of the world of music and the depths of addiction.
Waiting for the Gift:
Stories Inspired by Low
Edited by Richard V. Hirst
28th July 2022
Low, David Bowie’s 1977 album, stands as both his creative apex and an album which pushed popular music to its outer limits.
The eleven short stories in Waiting for the Gift, each of which takes a song on the album as its title and inspiration, provide a collective response from some of the best contemporary writers of fiction.
Featuring original work from Dima Alzayat, Anne Billson, Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Jen Calleja, Ruby Cowling, Wendy Erskine, Keeley Forsyth, David Hayden, Zoë McLean, Adam Marek, Preti Taneja, Melissa Wan and Hugo Wilcken.
Waiting for the Gift maps out the otherworldly labyrinth that is Low, moving through tales of madness and the abyss, but also of futuristic fantasia and intrepid inner exploration.
Out of the Dark
By David Gaffney
Available to order HERE
Daniel Quinn has rented a flat at the top of a high-rise block in Birmingham where he watches the same video over and over again, an old British film noir called Out of the Dark. This film holds some important information for him, something which will help him deal with recent tragic events in his life. But what is he looking for in this corny black and white B-flick?
Out of the Dark is an unsettling story of grief, obsession and duplicity. It is also about film noir itself, and as Daniel dissects the recurring motifs of his favourite film genre he reveals more about himself than he does about the movie. The edges of the film and real life begin to blur. Is Daniel being pulled into a similar whirlpool of deceit, corruption and violence?
'A twisted and darkly funny neo-noir that somehow channels the restless spirits of both David Lynch and Shane Meadows while remaining intensely literary. In Out of the Dark David Gaffney has produced a book with real propulsive energy, one that produces surprises on nearly every page.' Stephen May, Costa Prize-shortlisted author of Life! Death! Prizes!
'Out of the Dark is an ingenious, idiosyncratic and unnerving noir, in which Ballard meets Jim Thomson meets Mike Leigh in a high-rise block next to a motorway in the Black Country.' Luke Brown, editor, critic, and author of novels My Biggest Lie and Theft.
All you need is dynamite
Acid, the Angry Brigade, and the End of the Sixties
By Dave Haslam
26th August 2021 Order your copy here
In ‘All You Need Is Dynamite’, the latest in his Art Decades series of small format, limited edition books, Dave Haslam explores the fading of Sixties dreams of peace and love, and the emergence of urban terrorist groups, particularly a cell known as the Angry Brigade who carried out dozens of bomb attacks in Britain.
Haslam tracks the political campaigns, the police repression, and the insane times, from underground music venues, via May ’68 in Paris, to the story of Angry Brigade members living in Manchester for several months in 1971 and contributing to the underground paper Mole Express (a bible for local acid-freaks, and fans of the Edgar Broughton Band and the Weather Underground).
Picking his way through forgotten streets and demolished clubs, and the pages of underground newspapers, Haslam uncovers a heady mix of left-wing politics, psychedelic music, police raids and political violence.
By Paul McQuade
Order your Your HERE
Where does one language end and another begin? What happens to those people who find themselves not simply between languages but in states of transformation and translation? How do we speak, act, and live in these spaces where everything seems at once both promised and impossible?
Paul McQuade’s debut short story collection moves into this space between tongues – a play on the Scottish Gaelic word for translation, eadar-theangachadh. These stories span modern myth and the surreal, Europe, Asia, and North America, and take language and technology to their limit to map those strange places where people without voices find themselves.
"Equally at home with the weird and the everyday, McQuade is a singular talent worth seeking out."
By Nicholas Royle
In his fourth short story collection, an exploration of the dark side of modern London, Nicholas Royle redefines urban Gothic for the twenty-first century. Fifteen stories, dating from 2000 to the present day and including seven brand-new pieces, demonstrate Royle’s range of styles and techniques. Often writing against a background of film, art or literature, he unearths unease in the streets of Shepherd’s Bush, Hackney and South Tottenham, and creates uncanny effects with innovative, experimental forms.
London Gothic is the first in a projected series of city-based collections by Royle. Forthcoming volumes are devoted to Manchester and Paris.
My Second Home: Sylvia Plath in Paris, 1956
By Dave Haslam
Sylvia Plath was in Paris during Easter 1956, alone in a hotel near Notre Dame. She’d grown to love the city after spending Christmas there with Richard Sassoon and she’d hoped he‘d be with her for Easter too, but he hadn’t answered her letters. She’d met Ted Hughes a month earlier; Ted was also in her head, and within ten weeks they’d be married.
In the fourth book in his Art Decades series, Dave Haslam describes this key period in Sylvia Plath’s life. We discover how she filled those Paris days, including having dinner with an Italian communist, embracing the idea of drunken afternoon sex with a friend of a friend, sketching in the park, and lying on her yellow bed in an attic room listening to the sound of the Paris rain as she considered decisions and future plans:
in her phrase, ‘the fatal dance’ of choices and alternatives.
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