Liquorice Fish Books: Publications
A Remedy for All Things
In the dream she was not herself.
Jan Fortune's superb follow-up to This is the End of the Story, we follow Catherine, in the winter of 1993, as she arrives in Budapest to research a novel based on the Hungarian poet, Attila József. But the work takes an unexpected turn as Catherine finds herself dreaming the life of another woman, imprisoned after the 1956 Uprising. Stranger still, it seems this other woman is dreaming Catherine's life …
Layered and compassionate, disquieting yet moving, this is a fascinating story that asks questions of identity, of our relationship between interior and exterior landscapes, and of our definitions of reality itself — a stunning book.
Pizza with Jimbob & Twoforks
An evening out goes slightly wrong when CC (that's Central Character) overhears something he wishes he hadn't. But, even after pushing his wife off a bridge, CC still can't quite settle back into his old life. Reality ain't what it used to be, between the dreams, the guilt, the crossdressing comedians and the bearded nutters set on being angels of mercy and being crap at it. Oh, and there's a psychotic brother-in-law, too. And, as if things couldn't get worse, CC's also fallen in love.
Transgressive, bizarre, hilarious and suffused with delirious bad taste and an utter disregard for what everyone else laughingly calls 'reality', Ashley Lloyd Smith's Pizza with Jimbob & Twoforks is a riotous debut novel … or should that be 'anti-novel'? Decide for yourself — your brain will never be the same again.
The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue
Set against a backdrop of conflict and the devastation is brings, prose poetry sequence explores the lives of outcasts and survivors in search of peace, new beginnings, and answers to age-old questions.
Sometimes graceful, sometimes harsh, always with a glint in it's eye, Maria Jastrzębska's story confidently walks a fine edge between fable and fact. Find out more about The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingénue in Maria's blog article on the book.
This is the End of the Story
Belief is Cassie's gift, so much so that she believes herself to be whoever those in her life tell her she is — Cassie, Kat, Kitty, even Casilda, an 11th century Muslim princess from Toledo. Caught in a labyrinth of friendship, hope and obligation, Cassie must ultimately decide which identity is her's alone.
From author, poet and Cinnamon Press-founder, Jan Fortune, this beautifully lean and immersive short novel, in the tradition of Don Quixote, explores how one person might support the fantasy life of another. Set in the English North East during the mid-1970s, and the beautiful Spanish city of Toledo, this is book as delicate as it is poetic as it is innovative — a fabulous addition to the Liquorice Fish Books catalogue, described by one reviewer as incredible … one of the finest examples of experimental contemporary fiction I have read.
The Humble Family Interviews
This debut poetry collection from Nigel Hutchinson (runner-up in our first competition and a student in the LF/B mentoring programme) bristles with invention and humanity. Dry, witty, often poignant and always well-observed, the book explores the lives of those people who lived and grew-up on post-war housing estates, any one of those liminal everywheres that was neither Middle Class nor Working Class but somewhere in between, places filled with aspiration that was not often realised. Looking at love, the process of getting through another day not substantially different to the last, or the next, and the dreams that sometimes help that process, this is a gripping debut from an individualistic voice.
What rain taught us
A mind fractures into a landscape of association and invention in which images and voices tumble, sparking associations that themselves flip and fragment. There's a joy to this giddy slide, but will it end and what could come afterwards?
Combining graphics and concrete forms, Gail Ashton (editor of Meet Me There and author of Ghost Songs and The Other Side of Glass) has written a collection that is a brave and frank look at mental illness and the fragility of what we laughingly call "reality".
Not to be missed
The first collection from a young British-born, Zimbabwean-raised writer, this pamphlet explores what it feels like to come to a country both familiar and alien, and the dislocation of crossing the Equator. Personal, exploratory, and deeply-felt, this is a promising debut of a new voice.
Looking back at a fraught, fragmented relationship with a mother, the narrator discovers that, despite everything, love still exists. Baby, by Patricia Debney, is a searing, deeply disturbing work, filled with pain and anger and yet, ultimately, it finds that blood can be thicker than water.
When all the fire has gone and there's nothing but stuff left, how do you find the will to keep going …?
From short story writer and novelist Charlie Hill (author of the widely-praised novels The Space Between Things and Books), Stuff tackles the emptiness of Consumerism and the essential meaninglessness of British culture at the beginning of the 21st Century. Dark and sometimes bleak, this novella is also very funny, acutely observed and brilliantly written — as Alison Moore observes, Stuff is: "sensitive, evocative and touching … leads the reader to a brink".
Via Negativa — A Parable of Exile
This stunning, miasmatic debut novella by Omar Sabbagh. Yusuf is an inveterate observer of his native Beirut, "city of whores and city of dames": wandering, watching its bustle from a bar stool. But when one of his most promising students allows him to see several unfinished stories, Yusuf finds his life’s drift is about to hit rough water …
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