Jetstone

Fiction

The Odium Trilogy

J D Clockman

The Odium Trilogy
  • 487 pp. ISBN 9781910858189
  • Date of publication: 21 January 2021

The Odium Trilogy charts a complete academic year in the misfortune, decline and fall of a dysfunctional provincial English university. An American Professor arrives at the beginning of term one to take up a research post, but he is not what he seems. He has been hired by the University’s ruthless Vice Chancellor to sort out the many problems he has with his enemies among the staff, but we come to learn that he has a mission of his own. His unorthodox methods cause the University to spin entirely out of control, leading to an explosive climax that will haunt it for the rest of the year. Seven deadly plot twists follow, involving blackmail, homophobia, misogyny, violence, ignorance, corruption and deceit. Amidst a welter of comic characters are Nigel Asterisk, the weasel-like Registrar; Avril Poon, the opportunistic Union president; James Redman, her morally upstanding deputy; Robert McNamara, a disillusioned specialist in Politics; Drusilla Frost, the overripe head of PR; not to speak of a femme fatale postgraduate student, a Professor of Arabic poetry who always wears a white suit, a Ukrainian lecturer with madcap broken English, an educationist who gives a lecture which causes an international diplomatic incident, a Welsh malcontent, and one or two notorious leaders of the western world. Clockman’s hilarious triple-decker epic encapsulates all the features of the twenty-first century academy: sexual intrigue, thirst for revenge, viciousness, erudite stupidity, hypocrisy, selfishness, egomania, greed and iniquity.

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Young Frieda

John Worthen

Young Frieda
  • 201 pp. ISBN 9781910858158
  • Date of publication: 20 August 2019

John Worthen’s mordantly humorous novel is grounded in reality: it is wholly fictional, but deeply rooted in the lives of real people. All accounts of the life of Frieda von Richthofen Weekley Lawrence Ravagli – best known as the wife of the writer D. H. Lawrence, and one of the models for his Lady Chatterley novel ‒ are hopelessly flawed by the impossibility of understanding her first marriage, to Professor Ernest Weekley. Readers of this novel will discover what Weekley was like as he grew up, how much he loved Frieda, how she felt about him, how she managed to carry on her marriage for thirteen years, how and why she turned to D. H. Lawrence, how she lost her three children to Weekley: and, incidentally, how much Weekley hated Lawrence. These are all here stylishly accounted for by Worthen’s back-to-back, fictional, first-person narratives, which take the reader deep inside Weekley’s point of view, and comprehensively inside Frieda’s: into his rage and bafflement and into her unrepressed anger. At least one tragic history results, and one passionate love story: but whose is which?

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Jungle Without Water and Other Stories

Sreedhevi Iyer

Jungle Without Water and Other Stories
  • 155 pp. ISBN 9781910858103
  • Date of publication: 18 April 2017

Jungle Without Water and Other Stories is a collection that crosses borders and boundaries. People in these stories inhabit different stages of movement – those who have emigrated, those who want to, and those who regret it. The stories also depict our human prejudices around how we move from place to place and culture to culture. In “The Lovely Village” citizens of an unnamed settlement build a strong wall to keep newcomers out. In “Circular Feed”, refugees at a detention centre protest by standing on the roof of their living quarters. Alienation works across cultures, across boundaries of inequality. In “Green Grass” an inter-racial couple have a fight during their honeymoon in the husband’s homeland, while in the title story, two migrant boys look for the right place to pray on foreign soil. Altogether, the collection touches on how we view and understand race, colour, love, and what happens to us when we shift our selves in different environments.

“Sreedhevi Iyer deftly maps the human shifts of our time in a way few writers can, with an ear for the prejudices, accents and hopes we carry with us. This is clever, compelling twenty-first century writing, and we need more of it.”NICK EARLS
“Iyer is a wonderful storyteller, and this debut collection shows an incredible knack for locating and revealing fractures, faultlines and tensions – cultural, familial and historical – in any given moment.”BENJAMIN LAW

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Dead Iraqis: Selected Short Stories of Ellis Sharp

Ellis Sharp

Dead Iraqis: Selected Short Stories of Ellis Sharp
  • 326 pp. ISBN 9781905510092
  • Date of publication: 1 August 2009

“In a society like ours there are bound to be disagreements about this and that. It is only natural. But although we may disagree on many things, I think we can all agree on one thing. The nice thing about dead Iraqis is they don’t smell.”

Dead Iraqis brings together the best short fiction of one of Britain’s leading underground writers. Written against the grain of commercial literary fiction, these stories from the era of neo-liberalism are often darkly comic in thrust, with a strong historical or political dimension. Emily Brontë runs off to Nicaragua and starts a new life as a guerrilla. Stalin fakes his death and becomes a Conservative MP. Karl Marx is discovered alive and well and living on the Isle of Wight. Using a range of techniques from collage to surreal satire, Sharp savages the values and delusions of the age, mocking everything from crop circles to political biography and imperialism. But Sharp is also a writer acutely conscious of literary tradition. Informed by influences as various as Swift, Gogol, Proust and Joyce, these fictions engage with language and the nature of narrative as they explore history, story-telling, memory, philosophy and the monstrous temper of an age steeped in blood.

“Sharp targets the deadly absurdities and frustrations of our civilisation.”
Ken MacLeod
“Ellis Sharp writes fiction unlike any other writer I have encountered to date ... his books are jam-packed with wondrous things.”Lee Rourke
“Ferociously brilliant.”
Iain Banks
“Ellis Sharp is an outstanding rebuke to all those who think political fiction means drab and po-faced fiction. Who says it can't be surreal, enraged and utterly invigorating?”China Miéville

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Quin Again and other stories

Ellis Sharp

Quin Again and other stories
  • 166 pp. ISBN 9781910858004
  • Date of publication: 30 April 2017

In this collection, cult writer Ellis Sharp reinvents the possibilities of fiction. Paying homage to the 1960s experimental novelist Ann Quin, these stories take the reader on a rollercoaster ride through a dark, absurd world where the fabric of reality is twisted into strange new shapes in which anything is possible – from an encounter with Franz Kafka’s second fiancée and a journey into a demon-populated hell to the disturbing climaxes of a paranormal communication and an all-night party. Shadowed by themes of death, passing time and lost love, this book confirms Sharp’s reputation as one of Britain’s most idiosyncratic and innovative writers.

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Lamees Najim: a novel of the information age

Ellis Sharp

Lamees Najim: a novel of the information age
  • 121 pp. ISBN 9781910858059
  • Date of publication: 30 April 2017

The days passed. May slid into July. Ellis absorbed each day's news. He ate and drank and went shopping. Some days he went for a walk. Birds flew by his window. Some days the sun shone, some days it rained. Almost every day Ellis went on the internet. Every day brought new information, new facts. So many facts, so much information. So many new names. So much knowledge. Lamees Najim: a novel of the information age.

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The Spirit Machine and other new short stories from Cameroon

edited by Emma Dawson

The Spirit Machine and other new short stories from Cameroon
  • 144 pp. ISBN 9781905510214
  • Date of publication: 1 May 2017

This series focuses on the production of new World Englishes fiction. It features country anthologies of newly sourced writing in English, edited and presented with a critical and historical introduction. The first four volumes in the series concentrate on contemporary African writing. The title story of the Uganda volume, "Butterfly Dreams", was shortlisted for The Caine Prize for African Writing in 2011.

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Butterfly Dreams and other new short stories from Uganda

edited by Emma Dawson

Butterfly Dreams and other new short stories from Uganda
  • 137 pp. ISBN 9781905510306
  • Date of publication: 2 May 2017

The title story of this volume, Beatrice Lamwaka's "Butterfly Dreams", was shortlisted for the 2011 Caine Prize and reprinted in the prize's 2011 anthology, "To See the Mountain". It also figured in the International Museum of Women's online exhibition, "Motherhood Aound the Globe" and the accompanying e-anthology, "Mama: Stories of Motherhood".

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Daughters of Eve and other new short stories from Nigeria

edited by Emma Dawson

Daughters of Eve and other new short stories from Nigeria
  • 172 pp. ISBN 9781905510276
  • Date of publication: 1 May 2017

"Daughters of Eve" is full of surprise, suspense and carefully sculpted characters. This collection of eleven strories offers new departures in genre and voice through narratives of crime, love and urban living.

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Man of the House and other new short stories from Kenya

edited by Emma Dawson

Man of the House and other new short stories from Kenya
  • 254 pp. ISBN 9781905510320
  • Date of publication: 1 May 2017

Contemporary Kenya, its challenges, its creativity and its varied human experiences are creatively explored in this volume. The expansive collection of 18 stories takes the reader through Kenya’s urban and rural scenes, its eclectic mix of peoples and identities, as well as tackling head-on the political and social issues of the country in the present day.

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Black and Whites and other new short stories from Malaysia

edited by Macdonald Daly and Emma Dawson

Black and Whites and other new short stories from Malaysia
  • 254 pp. ISBN 9781905510320
  • Date of publication: 1 May 2017

Black and Whites is the fifth volume in the World Englishes Literature series. It shows that Malaysian writing in English has reached a stage of considerable advancement and independence. It explodes the official government ideology of ‘One Malaysia’ from almost every perspective conceivable, be it familial, racial, religious, cultural, economic, or generational. More than that, however, the stories herein demonstrate a linguistic self-confidence and a commitment to specifically modern Malaysian themes.

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The Queen of Statue Square: New Short Fiction from Hong Kong

edited by Marshall Moore and Xu Xi

The Queen of Statue Square: New Short Fiction from Hong Kong
  • 159 pp. ISBN 9781905510436
  • Date of publication: 30 April 2017

What does it mean to be a ‘Hong Kong person’? Hong Kong has never been an independent state, nor has it completely reverted to mainland Chinese control. Once a British colony, now a semi- autonomous Special Administrative Region of China, Hong Kong is something of a mystery even to itself. Although it has long had a majority Cantonese Chinese population, the presence of significant expatriate communities — Western, Indian, Filipino, and others — creates a unique cultural diversity. This is evident in Hong Kong’s literary output as well: although Cantonese is by far the majority language, English writing occupies a small but enduring niche. In this collection of short stories, eight writers explore the questions of what it means to be in, from, and of the Hong Kong of the past, the present, and the future.

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Labyrinths: The Electronic Journal of Literary Postmodernism

edited by Macdonald Daly

Labyrinths: The Electronic Journal of Literary Postmodernism
  • 412 pp. ISBN 9781910858134
  • Date of publication: 29 August 2018

Labyrinths was a short-lived British journal of literary postmodernism which appeared on the world wide web – and as quickly disappeared – in the early years of the twenty-first century. While its contents were lively and accessible, in its organisation it seemed to aim for an almost dadaistic randomness and inexplicability. In the first four of its eight issues, for example, ironic stories about world-historical figures such as Trotsky and Hitler appeared alongside a tale about the administration of lighthouses and marginalia to an unknown book. Odd poetry jostled with academic articles and reviews (some of them sober and genuine, others satirical spoofs). The individual numbers of the periodical were of wildly varying length. Its last four issues were each given over to a single author, one of them being a collection of verse, another an entire novel. The magazine also circulated in print form, published by Zoilus Press, but it had no subscribers and was not for sale. Instead, it was capriciously sent or given unbidden to individuals in a manner that ensured that no one other than the publisher possessed all the numbers. No request from any library wishing to acquire the printed journal was ever honoured. This volume reprints the entire run of Labyrinths for the first time and now makes it available in permanent form to a wider audience.

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Stained Radiance: A Fictionist’s Prelude

by Lewis Grassic Gibbon [James Leslie Mitchell]

Stained Radiance: A Fictionist’s Prelude
  • 272 pp. ISBN 9781910858202
  • Date of Publication: 1 January 2022

Stained Radiance (first published in 1930) was the first novel by James Leslie Mitchell (better known as Lewis Grassic Gibbon). It charts the intertwined lives of a group of men and women struggling to live in London in the wake of the First World War and the General Strike of 1926, one of them a clear forerunner of Chris Guthrie in Gibbon’s later classic trilogy, A Scots Quair. It is remarkably in advance of the many political novels which appeared in the decade to follow, not only in its twin satires on both mainstream politics and nascent British communism, but also in its forthright exploration of the sexual politics of the period. The text is here supported for the first time by a scholarly introduction, explanatory notes and commentary.

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The Thirteenth Disciple

by Lewis Grassic Gibbon [James Leslie Mitchell]

The Thirteenth Disciple
  • 329 pp. ISBN 9781910858219
  • Date of Publication: 21 April 2024

The Thirteenth Disciple, first published in 1931, was the second novel by James Leslie Mitchell (better known as Lewis Grassic Gibbon). It is Mitchell’s most “Scottish” novel prior to the three volumes of A Scots Quair and the most extensive autobiographical fiction he wrote. In it we encounter a portrait of the Aberdeenshire community in which Mitchell was raised, and a memorable evocation of Glasgow during the Great War, before the protagonist’s life is caught up in the rapid social and cultural transformations of 1920s London.

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