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Deconstruction: A Quintet

Magicians are sworn not to reveal the secrets behind their illusions. Some authors will talk about their art and their books, some avoid giving away all the tricks of their trade, preferring to preserve some of the mystery. I like books that actually deconstruct the workings of language and fiction as part of the very …

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My Political Novel by Haroun Khan

There’s a really snotty attitude towards the political in novels. Maybe because life has been settled in this sceptered isle for so long, immune to invasion, governed in peace with histories of triumph and consistent progress. So, many English novelists have had the luxury of turning to the interior. The comfort of seeing the individual …

Emotional Geographies: A Quintet

Hollow Shores is a book obsessed with some specific landscapes and geographies. The two that feature most prominently are the city of London, where I live, and the North Kent coast of the Thames Estuary where I grew up. Both places exert a huge pressure on my imagination; this book exists because of them. Hollow …

Weird Landscapes: A Quintet

My day job is teaching creative writing. I sometimes find myself asking students to think about the setting in their piece of writing as a character in its own right. This teacherly request falls short in many respects – it doesn’t do justice to the complex relationship between place and people in fiction and poetry …

The North in New York

‘New York is bullshit!’ Anonymous American Editor   There is a temptation, being from the ‘outside’ as we are in the North, to paint major international cities in a less than favourable light. If we can highlight the problems of these super cities, and there are problems, we can present ourselves as a viable and …

Book Launch! Every Fox is a Rabid Fox

Join Dead Ink Books and Harry Gallon for the launch of Gallon’s second novel, Every Fox is a Rabid Fox! Following on from the crowdfunding campaign a few months ago, we’d like to invite you all to Burley Fisher Books on Thursday 24th August to say a HUGE thank you for all of your patience and …

Book Launch! Guest by SJ Bradley

Join us as we celebrate the launch of SJ Bradley’s second book ‘Guest’, a stunning piece of fiction inspired by true events. Samhain is a young, angry, and bewildered squatter living in an abandoned hotel in the North of England. One day he receives a message: his father – a man he never never – …

You’re Not Working Class

When Anthony Calvert, Conservative Party candidate for Wakefield, tweeted about a self-described ‘working class’ man confronting him in the street, he made the wry observation that the man said this as he was walking into a Costa Coffee. Clearly, the man could not be working class if he splurged on lattes and cappuccinos like some …

Know Your Place on Kickstarter

Know Your Place is a book of essays on the working class by the working class. The story of Know Your Place started shortly after Brexit and a conversation on Twitter, you can read about it here. Nearly a year later, here we are! We’ve got the book ready and now we’re raising for funds …

Five Dark Comedies for Dark Times

Before there was Hope in the Dark, there was Laughter in the Dark. By that, I mean dark humour, black comedy, a grunt from the gallows. Some trace this kind of sniggering back to the Ancient Greeks, but no doubt, it goes further still. Yet ‘black humour’ as a term wasn’t coined until 1935, when …