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THE BOOK OF JOYS
by John Saul with images by Albert Irvin

Publication date: 11th July 2024

The Book of Joys is a collection of six stories by John Saul, one of which, 'Art: a biography', is published for the first time. It also features images by the artist Albert Irvin (1922–2015). The book is part of a series of 'collaborations' between writers and artists. 

Playful with fictional forms and ideas, these six pieces find joy in its many guises – found, mislaid, brushed against and re-encountered. Enjoyment of art itself, evident in the exuberance of Albert Irvin’s work, is a thread running through the book.

John Saul grew up in Liverpool. Widely published, his short fiction has been brought together in three collections (Salt Publishing). His work has appeared in Best British Short Stories 2023 and Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction. Recently he read for The Stinging Fly at the International Literature Festival Dublin. He is a member of the European Literature Network. A recently published story of his can be read HERE


Albert Irvin OBE RA was born in 1922 in London, where he continued to live and work throughout his life. His paintings and prints are held in many public collections throughout the UK and the world, including Tate, Royal Academy and the Victoria and Albert Museum. He continued painting and printmaking until his death in 2015, aged 92.


Available to pre-order HERE

STRAWBERRY AND THE BIG APPLE:
Grace Jones in Stockport, 1980

Dave Haslam
Published 11th April 2024

In ‘Strawberry and the Big Apple’, the eighth short-format book in his acclaimed Art Decades series, Dave Haslam explains a seemingly unlikely scenario: the day in November 1980 when Grace Jones – a spectacularly glamorous jet-setting singer living and working in Paris and New York, and recording in the Bahamas – pays a visit to Stockport (a post-industrial town seven miles south of Manchester, with crumbling infrastructure and rising unemployment). Her quest that day? To meet A Certain Ratio, a group then signed to Factory Records.

This tale of worlds colliding includes Tony Wilson’s fascination with New York; an intriguing portrait of the early life of Grace Jones; a twist in the tale, and more than a couple of mysteries; plus walk-on parts for 10cc, Robert De Niro and Jerry Hall. ‘Strawberry and the Big Apple’ is the latest (and last) work in the Art Decades series by writer and former Haçienda DJ, Dave Haslam, exploring a variety of subjects rooted in cities, in recent history and lived experience, and a love for music, literature, and art.

Order HERE

Loners

by Adrian Slatcher with images by Steven Heaton

Published 7th March 2024

Loners is a collection of six stories by Adrian Slatcher, three of which are published for the first time. It also features images created by the artist Steven Heaton in response to the stories. The book is the second in a series of collaborations between writers and artists - the first, Interpolated Stories by David Rose and Leah Leaf, was published in 2022.

 

The stories vary widely in form, from ‘Last Testament of a Lighthouse Keeper’, ostensibly a written journal, to ‘sleeveless itchery and parched throat’, an unpunctuated monologue. While all six stories are about ‘loners’ in one way or another, it would be wrong to think of the characters as being without hope – in each case, their isolation is something they are trying to break out of, in search of redemption, often after some kind of trauma. The characters are loners out of either choice or circumstance, but it is never easy to be alone.

Order HERE 

The Comet and Other Stories

By Sonya Moor

Published 24th October 2023

Order HERE

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.’

Alison MacLeod

The Unheard

By Anne Worthington

Published 11th July 2023

Order HERE

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.’
Kerry Hadley-Pryce

Water's Edge

By Deborah Templeton

Published 13th April 2023

Order HERE

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

Adventure Everywhere
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.

 

Order HERE

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