Utopia Avenue might be the most curious British band you’ve never heard of. Emerging from London’s psychedelic scene in 1967, folksinger Elf Holloway, blues bassist Dean Moss, guitar virtuoso Jasper de Zoet and jazz drummer Griff Griffin together created a unique sound, with lyrics that captured their turbulent times. The band produced only two albums in two years, yet their musical legacy lives on. This is the story of Utopia Avenue’s brief, blazing journey from Soho clubs and draughty ballrooms to the promised land of America, just when the Summer of Love was receding into something much darker – a multi-faceted tale of dreams, drugs, love, sexuality, madness and grief; of stardom’s wobbly ladder and fame’s Faustian pact; and of the collision between youthful idealism and jaded reality as the Sixties drew to a close.
In ‘Working’, Robert A. Caro offers a captivating account of his life as a writer, describing the sometimes staggering lengths to which he and his wife Ina have gone in order to produce his books and offering priceless insights into the art and craft of non-fiction writing.
With the death of her aunt, Maria Stepanova is left to sift through an apartment full of faded photographs, old postcards, diaries, and heaps of souvenirs: a withered repository of a century of life in Russia. Carefully reassembled, these shards tell the story of how a seemingly ordinary Jewish family managed to survive the twentieth century.
On a summer’s day in 1596, a young girl in Stratford-upon-Avon takes to her bed with a fever. Her twin brother, Hamnet, searches everywhere for help. Why is nobody at home? Their mother, Agnes, is over a mile away, in the garden where she grows medicinal herbs. Their father is working in London. Neither parent knows that one of the children will not survive the week.
August is an average twelve year old – he likes dogs and fishing and doesn’t even mind early morning chores on his family’s farm. When his parents’ marriage falls apart and he has to start over in a new town, he tries hard to be an average teen – playing football and doing his homework – but he struggles to form friendships. So, when a shocking act of violence pushes him off course once more, he flees to rural Montana. There, as he throws himself into work on a ranch, he comes to learn that even the smallest of communities have secrets and even the most broken of families have a bond.
In these twelve quietly dazzling, carefully crafted stories, Billy O’Callaghan explores the resilience of the human heart and its ability to keep beating even in the wake of grief, trauma and lost love. Spanning a century and two continents – from the muddy fields of Ireland to a hotel room in Paris, a dingy bar in Segovia to an aeroplane bound for Taipei – ‘The Boatman’ follows an unforgettable cast of characters. Three gunshots on the Irish border define the course of a young man’s life; a writer clings fast to a star-crossed affair with a woman who has never been fully in his reach; a fisherman accustomed to hard labour rolls up his sleeves to dig a grave for his child; a pair of newly-weds embark on their first adventure, living wild on the deserted Beginish Island.
A masterpiece of contemporary Gothic from the internationally acclaimed author of Things We Lost in the Fire’Mariana Enriquez is a mesmerizing writer who demands to be read. Like Bola�o, she is interested in matters of life and death, and her fiction hits with the full force of a train’ Dave EggersWelcome to Buenos Aires, a city thrumming with murderous intentions and morbid desires, where missing children come back from the dead and unearthed bones carry terrible curses. These brilliant, unsettling tales of revenge, witchcraft, fetishes, disappearances and urban madness spill over with women and girls whose dark inclinations will lead them over the edge.
Kim Jiyoung is a girl born to a mother whose in-laws wanted a boy. Kim Jiyoung is a sister made to share a room while her brother gets one of his own. Kim Jiyoung is a female preyed upon by male teachers at school. Kim Jiyoung is a daughter whose father blames her when she is harassed late at night. Kim Jiyoung is a good student who doesn’t get put forward for internships. Kim Jiyoung is a model employee but gets overlooked for promotion. Kim Jiyoung is a wife who gives up her career and independence for a life of domesticity. Kim Jiyoung has started acting strangely. Kim Jiyoung is depressed. Kim Jiyoung is mad. Kim Jiyoung is her own woman. Kim Jiyoung is every woman.
From the beet fields of North Dakota to the campgrounds of California to Amazon’s CamperForce program in Texas, employers have discovered a new, low-cost labour pool, made up largely of transient older adults. These invisible casualties of the Great Recession have taken to the road by the tens of thousands in RVs and modified vans, forming a growing community of nomads. ‘Nomadland’ tells a revelatory tale of the dark underbelly of the American economy – one which foreshadows the precarious future that may await many more of us. At the same time, it celebrates the exceptional resilience and creativity of people who have given up ordinary rootedness to survive, but have not given up hope.
Over a decade ago, Groff moved to her adopted home state of Florida. The stories in this collection span characters, towns, decades, even centuries, but Florida – its landscape, climate, history and state of mind – becomes their gravitational centre. Storms, snakes and sinkholes lurk at the edge of everyday life, but the greater threats and mysteries are of a human, emotional and psychological nature.
In 1964, two years after the critically lauded release of his debut novel ‘A Different Drummer’, William Melvin Kelley published his first collection of short stories, ‘Dancers on the Shore’. Reissued in a new edition by riverrun, these seventeen stories expand Kelley’s literary world, showcase his limitless imagination and spotlight his inimitable talent.
The truth was that if a woman bit a man in an office environment, there would be a strong assumption that the man had done something to deserve it. From the creator of ‘Cat Person’ – the first short story to go viral – comes ‘Cat Person and Other Stories’, a compulsive collection about sex, dating and modern life. These are stories of women’s lives now. They also happen to be horror stories. In some, women endure the horror. In others, they inflict it. Here are women at work, at home, on dates, at the doctor’s, with their families and with their friends. Here are women grappling with desire, punishment, guilt and anger. These are stories that make you feel fascinated but repelled, scared but delighted, revolted but aroused.
Wilde’s short fiction includes such masterpieces as ‘The Happy Prince’, ‘The Selfish Giant’, ‘Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime’ and ‘The Canterville Ghost’, as well as the daring narrative experiments of ‘The Portrait of Mr. W. H.’ and ‘Poems in Prose’. This edition shows how they continue to the enthral and challenge the reader.