The Languages of Love – Christine Brooke-Rose (March 21, 2014. ISBN: 9789810793753). Set in a post-war 1950s cosmopolitan London, The Languages of Love features university departments, the Reading Room of the British Museum, espresso bars and little restaurants in Soho, the Serpentine Lido, the London Docks, publishers’ parties and a Bloomsbury “room of one’s own”, as well as a varied cast of characters including professors, students, philologists and mediaevalists, highbrow journalists and publishers: Bernard, Julia’s lover after the break with Paul, is sensual, cultured, selfish, with a learned French wife, Nicolette; Paul, charming and devoted, is unable or unwilling to transgress the laws of his church. The East-African student Hussein, simple, passionate, intelligent, is prompt with the quotation of Sanuri proverbs, like a refreshing oasis in the dusty desert of London’s life that reveal his love for the exquisite Georgina. A first novel of wit and intelligence marking an out-of-the-ordinary talent.
The Sycamore Tree – Christine Brooke-Rose Nina (Aug 8, 2014. ISBN: 9789810793814). Nina is happily married to Gael, until his recently published book rouses the ire of a not-quite-there critic, Howard, intent on becoming the mover and shaker of London’s literary circles. Howard seduces Nina, while Howard’s wife Elizabeth becomes involved with an Hungarian exile, who befriends and is befriended by Gael, leading to an utterly unexpected and tragic outcome for all. Christine Brooke-Rose’s second novel is a waspish satire of the ‘50s London literary scene, and a story of madness and ill-fated lust—an entertaining novel from her early quartet of realist-mode tragicomedies.
Go When You See the Green Man Walking – Christine Brooke-Rose (Oct 6, 2014. ISBN: 9789810921675). First published in 1970, this collection of eleven stories showcases Brooke-Rose’s innovative credentials at their zenith. ‘The Foot’ and the ‘The Religious Button’ deploy to stunning effect her unique evolution of the run-on first person camera-eye narrative style as pioneered by Robbe-Grillet in the nouveau roman movement; ‘Small Loser and Medium Winner’ is a multilingual mix of allusions and discourses in the style of her 1968 novel Between; while ‘Troglodyte’ and ‘The Chinese Bedspread’ offer a more straightforward comic and realist approach. Go When You See the Green Man Walking is a dark, challenging, often science-fictional, frequently droll and sublimely erudite selection of stories from one of the unsung heroes of exploratory fiction. Introduction by Joanna Walsh.
Three Novels – Rosalyn Drexler (Nov 10, 2014. ISBN: 9789810921668). Surreal, satirical, and beguiling comedic fictions, three of which are collected in this volume. Highly regarded by Norman Mailer, Gloria Steinem, Stanley Elkin, and Donald Barthelme, Drexler’s short fragmented novels have faded into relative obscurity alongside numerous postmodern or “avant-pop” writers, deserving of a fresh audience and to be read for their brilliant comedic energy and sharp satirical eye. I am the Beautiful Stranger is a bold novel of teenage sexuality, familial dysfunction, and knotty self-awakening; One or Another the darkly comic tale of collapsing marriage, infidelity, and racial unrest; and The Cosmopolitan Girl explores the unlikely romance between a style-obsessed woman and her talking dog. These three novels represent Drexler’s exuberant and thoughtful prose style at its finest.
Knut – Tom Mallin (Nov 20, 2014. ISBN: 9789810921651). Knut takes place during WWII in the house of the Strobls, a Norwegian aristocratic estate populated by leeching relatives, ruled by the loveless widow Madame Strobl. Sickly son and heir Knut writes of his early life in a confessional manuscript handed to his doting sister Katya, for whom he nurtures intolerable incestuous desires. Knut is a darkly comic take on the gothic novel told in a prose style that captures the tension, violence, and decay of its setting, and parodies its cast of beastly hangers-on and contemptuous aristocrats. A largely neglected artist and writer, Tom Mallin published five novels with Allison & Busby in the 1970s before his death to cancer 1977. This reprint and first paperback edition hopes to introduce new readers to his peculiar and original talent. Introduction by Rupert Mallin.
Xorandor/Verbivore – Christine Brooke-Rose (Dec 15, 2014. ISBN: 9789810935924). The centrepiece of Brooke-Rose’s Intercom Quartet, Xorandor and Verbivore explore the shifting language of technologies and their catastrophic potential. In Xorandor we meet Jip and Zab, two precocious teens who chance upon a stone claiming to have fallen from Mars, whose skill for absorbing language from multiple frequencies leads him to Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth with pontentially apocalyptic consequences. Verbivore revisits Jip and Zab again as adults, taking on a new crisis: the world’s mega-computers, facing an overflow of information, rebel by eating up words and causing havoc among corporations, institutions, and governments. Both novels are rich in Brooke-Rose’s characteristic wordplay, flair for the multilingual pun, and utilise science-fiction tropes in a stimulating and witty manner, making these two of the most engaging and vital novels of her career and a perfect entry point for the new reader. Introduction by Nicolas Tredell.
The Dear Deceit – Christine Brooke-Rose (Dec 15, 2014. ISBN: 9789810793838). The third in Brooke-Rose’s sequence of early realist novels, The Dear Deceit, first published in 1960, chronicles in reverse the misadventures of Alfred Northbrook Hayley, a scheming opportunist whose canards and manipulations are met with fatigue and irritation among his family, and whose romantic, financial, and religious struggles form in part a striking autobiographical portrait of Brooke-Rose’s own father, Alfred Rose. By moving in reverse order from adulthood to childhood, the novel is structured as a form of genealogical investigation, subverting the conventional bildungsroman by presenting a sequence of sometimes disconnected episodes rather than a coherent lifestory. This first paperback edition contains an illuminating introduction by Joseph Andrew Darlington, who traces via archival material the parallels with Brooke-Rose’s own family history, and her careful splicing of fiction and fact. The Dear Deceit is perhaps her most sombre work, if still sharp with satirical observation and witty, cutting dialogue. Introduction by Joseph Andrew Darlington.
Erowina – Tom Mallin (Mar 16, 2015. ISBN: 9789810944704). Completed in 1962, first published in 1972, Tom Mallin’s third novel Erowina is an encyclopaedic portrait of the titular troubled heroine, whose traumatic experiences in childhood and adolescence are transformed in adulthood into self-hatred and wild abandonment to erotic and sadomasochistic activities, ending with her suicide at thirty-six. Over twenty chapters, Erowina utilises a stunning range of styles and forms, from an autopsy report, confessional stream-of-consciousness, theological conversations, surreal symbolical stories, third-person accounts, scenes in dialogue riddled with puns and wordplays, short plays, copious lists, and sections with newspaper headlines, sealing the novel’s indebtedness and homage to Joyce’s Ulysses. A dark, ambitious, stimulating, and challenging novel, Erowina is Tom Mallin’s masterpiece, and a work that remains surprising, fresh and vital. Introduction by Nate Dorr.
The Middlemen: A Satire – Christine Brooke-Rose (May 25, 2015. ISBN: 9789810944704). It is the sixties in the century of middlemen. Meet the cast: Rusty Conway, Chief Public Relations Officer of U.V.I, a company whose dress fabrics, manufactured from sand and saltpetre, have an unfortunate tendency to explode; Serena Scott-Buttery, Rusty’s beleaguered psychoanalyst, desperate to slink up the property ladder and fend off menacing contractors, mortgagors, and TV producers; Serena’s sister Stella, a flamboyant Euro-hopping leech whose affectations test Serena’s patience; Sales Promotion manager Harry Thorpe, with his carefully preserved Yorkshire accent; and Hughie Hill, producer of Focus on Facts. The last of Brooke-Rose’s realist novels, published in 1961, The Middlemen is a scathing social critique and hilarious satire, as well as a telling portent as to how the emerging decades would develop. Introduction by Francis Booth.
Next – Christine Brooke-Rose (June 1, 2015. ISBN: 9789810921682). Next is, like Ulysses, a novel of (post)modern urban life in which characters circulate on foot and by public transport around the city (London here instead of Dublin), intersecting with each other, then parting, reacting continuously to the urban pleasures and perils that press in upon them. Introduction by Brian McHale.
The Greater Infortune / The Connecting Door – Rayner Heppenstall (Sep 2, 2015, ISBN: 9789810967611). The Greater Infortune and The Connecting Door were both originally published as halves of a pair, and both released in the early 1960s as author Rayner Heppenstall turned fifty. The Greater Infortune is a revision of his Saturnine, first issued in 1943. They represent Heppenstall’s engagement with two literary genres, one quite archaic and quintessentially British; the other aggressively modern and French. For The Greater Infortune his guiding principle was that film had assumed the nineteenth-century novel’s exteriorised narrative function and that literary prose “would do well to become more lyrical, more inward.” The Connecting Door is Heppenstall’s attempt at a British answer to the nouveau roman or ‘anti-novel’, challenging readers to disentangle three simultaneous planes of time, to work out which characters exist in the present-day reality and which as the central figure’s memories, with incongruous and disorienting signifiers throwing the temporal sequence into constant doubt. These two works represent his beguiling prose and tussle with form at its peak. Introduction by Juliet Jacques.
The Penelope Shuttle Omnibus – Penelope Shuttle (Dec 25 2015, ISBN: 9789810959821). This omnibus edition collects the four full-length novels from prolific poet, essayist, playwright, and novelist Penelope Shuttle, published between 1969 and 1980. Shuttle’s novels merge poetic language with the novel form unlike virtually anyone else before or since. All the Usual Hours of Sleeping (1969), is a large and dense work, full of rich, poetic imagery, at its heart a love story involving four people. The use of language is taken well beyond its normal descriptive function: bathos where the grossly physical facts of sexual encounters meet the language of myth, or where obscure, slightly comical words are used to describe sexual passion. Wailing Monkey Embracing a Tree (1973) develops this dense poetic language, abounding in imagery, obscure vocabulary, and beguiling rhythms. Rainsplitter in the Zodiac Garden (1978), has a different tone to the previous two: the prose is bleaker, harder and more direct. The story and the prose have a mythic quality and seem to exist in an ahistorical or trans-historical continuum of time and place. The Mirror of the Giant (1980), subtitled ‘A Ghost Story’, has two meanings: Theron is haunted by the ghost of his dead wife Vellet—literally, as Vellet is a character in the novel—and his current wife Beth is metaphorically haunted by her former female lover Ash, whom she has not seen for five years. These four novels showcase Shuttle’s talent for powerful poetic prose at its peak. Introduction by Francis Booth.
The Utopian – Michael Westlake (Feb 15 2016, ISBN: 9789810967659). The Utopian consists of two intertwined storylines unfolding in two radically different settings. First, the story of Mesmer, who in 2411 sets out on his Journey, a rite of passage which is to last a year and a day, in a gloriously pansexual, matriarchal, and feminist utopia, told in the third person by a gentle and guileless narrator. The second storyline is set in Britain in 1979 and concerns Dr. Reed, a patriarchal and self-obsessed psychoanalyst, and his analysand, a young man called Mesmer Partridge, told in the first person by Reed in the voice of a spoilt, sarcastic, hostile curmudgeon. The two narratives entertain a complex, twisting relationship to one another, moving in all kinds of configuration, in which they intermittently appear to parallel, oppose, double, and subvert one another. Michael Westlake’s novel, first published in 1989, is thematically rich, weaving theories of politics, psychoanalysis, and feminism together in stylish and dazzlingly imaginative prose. Contains a new introduction from Toril Moi and an afterword from Andrew Collier.
Image for Investigation: About my Father – Christoph Meckel (Mar 15 2016, ISBN: 9789810967628). Image for Investigation: About my Father is Christoph Meckel’s celebrated work of memoir or “father-biography” in the mould of Paul Kersten’s Der alltägliche Tod meines Vaters and Ruth Rehmann’s Der Mann auf der Kanzel. The book is an act of need, personal and political: an attempt, by the son of a former German officer in the Second World War, to account not merely for his father’s actions but for the actions of a generation. His compassion, his dexterity with the knife, his lack of sentiment when sentiment would only slow his hand, his seeing around his subject, his willingness (an artist’s) to explore—these traits make Image an uncommon work of its kind. Meckel’s language is unsparing, torn from a heart shut tight and wounded by love. This edition revises Stan Jones’s original translation, and includes a new introduction by Ben Winch.
Meritocrats – Stuart Evans (Apr 18 2016, ISBN: 9789810993443). Stuart Evans’s first novel is a comedy-of-ill-manners set in a nouveau riche milieu: a fantastic satirical performance and hyper-referential homage to masters past and present. Paul Keller is the Stephen Dedalus of the piece, the son of Robert and Sylvie, whose internal monologue is spliced into the action, and whose incestuous feelings for his sister lead to an increase in histrionic imagery. Sylvie Keller’s sections comprise of pastiches, including the Penelope chapter of Ulysses, and an amusing riff on Alain Robbe-Grillet. Robert Keller, the paterfamilias, has a more conventional narration, while Eric Foster, “vernissage of the independent cinema”, is the most intriguing experiment: a cinematographic narration, blending snippets from his screenplays, pieces of real-time dialogue, and more theoretical musings, mirroring the approach of his movies. Gavin McNamara is the final voice: a caustic internal monologue from an parodic Irish character, sprinkled with amusing portmanteau words. These narrations are sequenced in different orders over eight parts, mimicking the drunken headiness of the endless parties taking place. The end product is a fantastic intellectual romp that transcends its swinging setting and succeeds in impressing with each stylish sentence.
Bartleby – Chris Scott (May 16 2016, ISBN: 9789810993450). Bartleby is an endlessly inventive comic masterpiece, and the finest continuation of Tristram Shandy ever written. The novel contains copious interruptions and digressions, parodies of the picaresque, Dickensian grotesques, sensationally outré wordplay, an abundance of lists, wildly unhinged improvisation, obsessive riffs on authorship, and characters cribbed from Beckett, Vidal, and Melville. All rise to salute the triumphant return of Bartleby to print!
How to Outthink a Wall: An Anthology – Marvin Cohen (July 16 2016, ISBN: 978981101182). Who is Marvin Cohen? Brooklyn-born New Yorker Marvin Cohen published numerous surreal and whimsical fictions in books and magazines from 1967 to 1982. This anthology showcases the two modes of Cohen’s writing: short ‘dialogues’ operating in the manner of an Ionesco or Beckett script by inverting language with an eschatological hopelessness while revelling, rather than despairing, in life’s absurdity, and longer stories displaying Cohen’s unique style and knack for shaping language in novel ways: his repetitions, random exclamations, and bestowing on abstract nouns abstract qualities. Cohen has an ear for the music of the absurd on a par with Donald Barthelme, mixing the flip whimsy, astute and wry observation, and verbal heft, with a fondness for paradoxes and intellectual riddles. His incessant probing of the weird crevices of existence makes reading Cohen a perpetual pleasure. This anthology collects Cohen’s four volumes of short fiction.
An Aesthetic of Obscenity: Five Novels – Jeff Nuttall (August 16 2016, ISBN: 9789811101199). Jeff Nuttall’s fiction displays an impatience with the constraints of words and language; the predictable course of a line carrying a thought across a page. The conventional order of narrative traditions were beneath his initial ambition. Never preoccupied with well-wrought description and dialogue that attempted to simulate real events, his objective was far more provocative: to lure readers into original experiences, from the carnal to the cerebral, from high art to low down and dirty humour. His strategy included the prospecting of biological intimacy, through conduits and chambers, tactile immersions in flesh, fluids, viscose matter; resurfacing where instincts manifest through swelling, dilation, tumescence; changes in hue, temperature, scent and flavour. He was a shameless chronicler of the body, as labyrinth and topography. His commitment to his material was intense and sustained. This anthology collects five novels published between 1975 and 1994: Snipe’s Spinster, The House Party, The Gold Hole, The Patriarchs, Teeth.
Imaginary Women – Michael Westlake (September 19 2016, ISBN: 9789811109690) To enter into the fictional world of Imaginary Women is to revisit a lively cultural era where one read Jacques Lacan and Roland Barthes in the morning, went to the cinema in the afternoon, and danced to The Clash at night. There is an unnamed city in the novel where the thirteen fictional women deployed in its coordinate system of interlocking stories both diverge and reconnect in an intricate web of play and puzzles. Composed in short sections, Westlake freely reimagines the narrative language of popular genres such as film noir, science fiction and the political thriller, and the roles that imaginary women assume there. Popular cinema and love of film play important parts in the book’s structure and network of cultural references, as do some of the most vibrant critical movements of the 1980s, especially psychoanalysis and feminist theory. Westlake’s always humorous and insightful appropriation and reworking of popular conventions and language are often reminiscent of Thomas Pynchon, Italo Calvino, and Jorge Luis Borges.
A Day at the Office – Robert Alan Jamieson (November 19 2016, ISBN: 9789811109706) A Day at the Office is the story of Edinburgh in the year of the fall of the Berlin wall. A snapshot of time in its long history, of which the year 1990 is a short footnote. It is story about the effect death has on the living, a love story, a story about the pull of drugs. It is a story about margins, how difficult it is to escape them, and a rare convincing portrait of the Scottish working class. It is about the distance between what’s on the TV and the drudgery of daily existence for ordinary people. Daring, truly experimental, formally inventive, quietly lyrical, it is a book unlike anything else you’ve ever read.
TO ORDER, PLEASE CLICK ON THE BOOK PAGE LINKS.
FOR MORE INFO ON FORTHCOMING RELEASES, CLICK ‘BOOKS’, AVOIDING THE DROPDOWN MENUS.