From suburbia and skyscraper scrawl to the open prairies and 'local color', slum life to rural idyll: reprinting American and British literary classics.
Novellas, short stories and essays by contemporary authors, paperbacks with card covers
Especially authors who were connected with the Albion Beatnik Bookstore, Oxford, its magazine – Sandspout – and its events and readings. The bookshop closed in January 2018.
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110pp, C format paperback, £8
This is a tale that is of the shadow self set amidst the backdrop of Venice, and is concerned with the changing nature of identity and the inescapability of the past. Bryony, a rich and beautiful woman who has moved to Venice, invites an old friend to stay, and the story he tells her seems to trigger his disappearance. Bryony, in the meantime, falls for the pleasures and masquerades of Venetian life. At a masked ball she meets a fascinating stranger dressed as the Plague Doctor. In the end, she tells him her own story, which is entwined with that of the rich uncle whose wealth she has inherited: a series of life-affirming and nightmarish experiences.
Baret is a brilliant writer and he will reach great heights. His recent lengthy novel The Fabrications received great reviews and praise. This title has been reprinted recently with a new cover.
“A stylish literary blend of Thomas Mann, Angela Carter and Patricia Highsmith. Baret Magarian writes of modern love and its pessimistic antagonists against the seductive backdrop of ancient Venice. This is an accomplished novella for literary and aesthetic readers.” – Sally Bailey, author of Girl With Dove
60pp, C format paperback, £5
Short pieces set in Spain, Italy, Ireland, Greece, the East End and Hungary are like love letters pasted onto the wall of European history. Along with the familiar Northern attraction to the sensuality and sunshine of the Mediterranean world his unusual (mixed Irish and Jewish) immigrant background has pushed him to question rather than romantically overlook the history of Europe’s seething populations and the struggles that have created a ruin in Ireland or an impoverished village in Spain. Accompanying the auto-fictions are minimal-media graphics of Romanian artist Daniel Balanescu.
Ray Keenoy edited the Babel Guides series to fiction in translation and ran Boulevard Books. He has contributed to Jewish Renaissance, Routledge Kegan Paul’s Encyclopedia of Jewish Writers and The Sandspout, and other magazines; also The Guardian. He currently works as a translator, and runs the Sibaris centre for the free exchange of ideas and culture in Sansepolcro, Tuscany.
Olivia Stewart Liberty
72pp, B format paperback, £6
This is collection of five related short stories about a twelve-year-old child and her view of the world, shaped hitherto by her narcissistic mother. In these stories we witness her discovery and awareness of her independent self, and the beginnings of her rebellion against her mother – through her care for a cat, her choice of shoes, her sense of adventure and quest for adolescent lust – and her tilting at a true identity, as she gazes at graffiti: “what if everything you ever did could never be wrong?”
Olivia Stewart Liberty is an Oxford-based writer who has written for The Spectator, Independent and many other newspapers. Her first novel, Falling, was published by Atlantic in 2007 (Independent: ‘luminous’; The Times: ‘funny and moving’).
54pp, B format paperback, £6
Three short stories that explore nostalgia and eroticism in the fragments of modern Europe.
Dan Holloway is an Oxford based writer, publisher, poet and performance poet. His alt novel The Man Who Painted Agnieszka’s Shoes earned him a place on Mashable’s list of the top 100 writers on Twitter; his dark thriller The Company of Fellows was voted the ‘favourite Oxford novel’ by Blackwell’ Bookshop readers.
126pp, B format paperback, £6
“Do not be afraid, dear reader,” writes Galán in his afterword, “of this literary endeavour – if a reader is ever found… My purpose is didactic: to offer a lesson in aesthetics and art theory.” (It is vital to read this essay before the novel, which is why it is produced at the back of the book with no mention of it in a contents list at the front.)
Ilia Galán is a professional philosopher of aesthetics and theories of art at Carlos III University, Madrid.