The Sultan's Organ by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy
Oct
19
7:00pm 7:00pm

The Sultan's Organ by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy

Propolis Books, the publishing imprint of The Book Hive, is delighted to announce the publication of it's new title, The Sultan's Organ, by Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy.

When Thomas Dallam, a young organ builder from north-west England, was commissioned to build a musical clockwork marvel, jewel encrusted and with a multitude of wondrous moving parts, he found himself acting as ambassador for Elizabeth I. The organ was to be a gift for the mighty Ottoman Sultan, intended to buy his favour and cement England’s trading rights across his empire, and Dallam was instructed to present it to the Sultan in person.

Closely following the detailed diary he kept during his year-long voyage, The Sultan’s Organ reveals the extraordinary world Dallam travelled to as he sailed through the Mediterranean and Levant before eventually arriving at the beating heart of the Ottoman Empire, Constantinople.

The people and places he encounters - from the pirates of Algiers to the inside of the Sultan’s harem itself - introduce us to a charming and erudite man of his age, as well as shedding light on a part of the world which remains to this day a beguiling, fascinating and challenging place to understand.

Jonathan Gathorne-Hardy was born in Edinburgh in 1933. He read history at Trinity College, Cambridge, before working in advertising and publishing. He has written over twenty books, including an autobiography Half an Arch, (winner of the JR Ackerley prize), Kinsey: Sex The Measure Of All Things which was adapted into a successful film starring Liam Neeson, The Rise and Fall of the British Nanny, A Life of Gerald Brenan and The Public School Phenomenon 587-1977. He lives in North Norfolk with his wife, the artist Nicky Loutit.

Praise for Gathorne-Hardy's previous work:

'Marvellously researched and beautifully written.' W. H. Auden

'Enough to delight the sternest critic.' Auberon Waugh

6.30 for 7.00pm 

Free

View Event →
The Nameless Places by Richard Lambert
Oct
26
7:00pm 7:00pm

The Nameless Places by Richard Lambert

A hotel with mysterious guests, a city where the moon wanders, an abandoned seaside pavilion, are some of the places visited in this, Richard Lambert's second collection. Structured around a movement from city to sea and always alert to the emotional resonance of landscape, The Nameless Places dwells on those spaces that lie at the edge of our lives and vision, and that seem somewhere between reality and dream. The collection culminates in a sequence that follows a journey made along the course of a river from its source to its mouth. Here, an English landscape's margins are investigated - suburb, waste ground, marsh, and estuary beach. In poems that are formally various (rondeau, villanelle and sonnet) and conjuring an atmosphere of melancholy, The Nameless Places explores forgotten and neglected spaces - both of the mind and of our physical world.

Richard Lambert is a poet and novelist. Individual poems have appeared in The Spectator, The Times Literary Supplement, Poetry Review, PN Review, Poetry Ireland Review, The Rialto, and The Forward Anthology 2014, and his poems have won the Yorkshire Poetry Competition and the Kent & Sussex Poetry Competition. His novel, The Wolf Road, was longlisted for The Caledonia Novel Award. His short story ‘The Hazel Twig and the Olive Tree’ was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award.

6.30 for 7.00pm

Free

View Event →

The Straight Man - Sarah Roby
Oct
5
7:00pm 7:00pm

The Straight Man - Sarah Roby

Join Norwich based poet Sarah Roby as she celebrates the launch of her new collection The Straight Man:

Sarah Roby's second collection follows a playful and inventive pursuit of a lost sense of humour.

This collection enjoys full use of comedy's most versatile straight man, the lyric 'I'.

Sarah Roby’s work has featured in The Poetry Review and national poetry competitions.

She is winner of the Mslexia Poetry Prize and iSHOT Award for poetry pamphlets, and is a recipient of a writer’s award from Arts Council England. 

6.30 for 7.00pm

Free

View Event →
Censored - by Katherine Inglis and Matthew Fellion
Sep
27
7:00pm 7:00pm

Censored - by Katherine Inglis and Matthew Fellion

Please join us for an event which forms part of the first Banned Books Week in the UK, organised by Index on Censorship. This is a hugely important - to say nothing of timely - focus on censorship and the denial of freedom of expression through the banning of books. We are honoured to be part of its first outing this side of the Atlantic. The event sees the co-authors of a new book - Censored - in conversation with Deputy Editor of Index on Censorship magazine, Jemimah Steinfeld.

A provocative history of literary censorship uncovers the limits of free speech in the United Kingdom and the United States.

When Henry Vizetelly was imprisoned in 1889 for publishing the novels of Émile Zola in English, the problem was not just Zola’s French candour about sex - it was that Vizetelly’s books were cheap, and ordinary people could read them. Censored exposes the role that power plays in censorship.

In twenty-five chapters focusing on a wide range of texts, including the Bible, slave narratives, modernist classics, comic books, and Chicana/o literature, Matthew Fellion and Katherine Inglis chart the forces that have driven censorship in the United Kingdom and the United States for over six hundred years, from fears of civil unrest and corruptible youth to the oppression of various groups - religious and political dissidents, same-sex lovers, the working class, immigrants, women, racialized people, and those who have been incarcerated or enslaved. The authors also consider the weight of speech, and when restraints might be justified. Rich with illustrations that bring to life the personalities and the books that feature in its stories, Censored takes readers behind the scenes into the courtroom battles, legislative debates, public campaigns, and private exchanges that have shaped the course of literature.

A vital reminder that the freedom of speech has always been fragile and never enjoyed equally by all, Censored offers lessons from the past to guard against threats to literature in a new political era.

Read more about Index and their work here: https://www.indexoncensorship.org/2017/05/index-on-censorship-brings-banned-books-week-to-the-uk/

Wed 27th September - free

6.30 for 7.00pm start

View Event →
David Hayden - Darker With The Lights On
Sep
15
7:00pm 7:00pm

David Hayden - Darker With The Lights On

"It’s an open secret that David Hayden is one of the most interesting short story writers around. Why it’s taken this long for his first collection to be published is beyond me but I, along with anyone with even the vaguest interest in looking at modernism anew, will be queuing up for a copy." – Eimear McBride, TLS Summer Reads

Driven ceaselessly, hypnotically forward by a powerful, deeply felt narrative force, the stories in this debut collection pull off that rare trick of captivating the reader, while twisting the form into truly new shapes. Comprising compelling stories made memorable by an imagist’s flair for photographic observation and unsettling, often startling, emotional landscapes, Darker With the Lights On introduces a mesmeric new literary talent with seismic potential.

David Lives in Norwich and has worked in and with books his whole life. This is his debut collection and seems sure to put his name in the public consciousness where it belongs. Be there at the start...

6.30 for 7.00pm

Free

View Event →
Gavin Osborn and Molly Naylor
Sep
12
7:00pm 7:00pm

Gavin Osborn and Molly Naylor

This. Is. A. Treat.

Acclaimed singer-songwriter Gavin Osborn arrives at the Book Hive with fire in his belly, stories to tell and a new found sense of hope in his heart. A regular at festivals (Latitude, Green Man), familiar to listeners of BBC Radio 4 (Alun Cochrane's Fun House) and having just returned from an Australian tour with Daniel Kitson (Stories For The Starlit Sky), this is part of Gavin's first solo UK tour in three years. Featuring life-affirming, funny, personal and political songs, including some from his brand new record, 'Echo Bridge'. 

'Funny and touching' - Stewart Lee, The Sunday Times.

'In true Loudon Wainwright spirit, he sings about serious things without taking himself too seriously. Splendidly sad tales of unrequited love and some proper protest music. Genuinely brilliant' - eFestivals

Molly Naylor is a scriptwriter, poet and performer. She co-wrote and created the Sky One sitcom After Hours. Her first poetry collection, Badminton, was published this year by Burning Eye.  She is the host and co-director of True Stories Live, a storytelling project and sell-out storytelling night. 

Naylor writes with a poet’s ear for rhythm and metaphor, and delivers with a stand-up’s comic timing - The Times

Come and see these two superb writers and performers in a unique intimate little gig at The Book Hive.  For free. That's right. For free. Madness isn't it?? Just make sure you ring or drop in to put your name down on the guest list - there are limited spaces!!

View Event →
John Gallas and Peter Hughes - two great poets on one night!
Sep
7
7:00pm 7:00pm

John Gallas and Peter Hughes - two great poets on one night!

‘Boys only want love if it’s torture.’ In the epigraph to his new collection, Cavalcanty, Peter Hughes quotes the memorable Taylor Swift lyric, and thus sets the tone for an inventive, contemporary take on thirteenth-century Tuscan poet Guido Cavalcanti, the writer who helped create a new kind of poetry for the city, rather than the court. Joining Peter at The Book Hive will be John Gallas, whose new collection The Little Sublime Comedy reanimates one of the great works of world literature for the twenty-first century. Relocated from medieval Italy to modern-day New Zealand, Dante’s Divine Comedy is given a new lease of life in Gallas’s darkly funny, surreal adaptation which takes the reader on a journey through the ‘Bad Place, the Better Place and the Good Place.

This will be a great evening in the company of two marvellous contemporary poets launching their excellent and witty new collections.

And it's free! Come and join them for a drink, a reading and get your new books, (published by the ever excellent Carcanet) signed!

6.30 for 7.00pm

View Event →
Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent event!
Jul
13
6:30pm 6:30pm

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent event!

Roll-up, roll-up for the local girl!! Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, born and raised in Norfolk, is now rarely found anywhere which doesn't challenge and excite her sense of world adventure. She is an explorer, a travel writer, and a TV film maker, and we are thrilled to be welcoming her back to the shop for an event to mark the launch of her new book on home turf...

A thrilling and dangerous adventure through Arunachal Pradesh, one of the world's least explored places. A mountainous state clinging to the far north-eastern corner of India, Arunachal Pradesh - meaning 'land of the dawn-lit mountains' - has remained uniquely isolated. Steeped in myth and mystery, not since pith-helmeted explorers went in search of the fabled 'Falls of the Brahmaputra' has an outsider dared to traverse it. Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent sets out to chronicle this forgotten corner of Asia. Travelling some 2,000 miles she encounters shamans, lamas, hunters, opium farmers, fantastic tribal festivals and little-known stories from the Second World War. In the process, she discovers a world and a way of living that are on the cusp of changing forever.

View Event →
Sarah Hall - Madame Zero - book launch!
Jul
6
7:30pm 7:30pm

Sarah Hall - Madame Zero - book launch!

Please join us in the shop to celebrate the launch of this new collection of short stories from the highly acclaimed author of Haweswater and The Carhullan Army, Sarah Hall. Sarah will read from the new book and take part in a q and a before signing copies. This is event is happening on the day the book is released so is truly its actual launch party event. No tickets are required.

View Event →
Donal  Ryan
Jun
30
6:30pm 6:30pm

Donal Ryan

As part of Independent Booksellers Week 2017 we are thrilled that Donal Ryan will be coming over from Ireland to do a tour of shops in England, and we are one of them. Donal burst on to the scene in 2013 with the Booker long listed Guardian First Novel Award winning The Spinning Heart and he has remained at the forefront of Irish writing ever since. His most recent novel - All We Shall Know - is just out in paperback, and we are delighted to be welcoming him to the shop. See a review of this latest success below...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/22/all-we-shall-know-by-donal-ryan-review-a-modern-day-irish-tragedy

View Event →
Simon Okotie - In The Absence of Absalon event
Jun
27
6:30pm 6:30pm

Simon Okotie - In The Absence of Absalon event

This was supposed to be a launch event for Simon's new book, but dates close enough to publication day couldn't be found. Then we settles on June 8th. Then Teresa May ruined that. So, later than planned, we are celebrating what promises to be a superb follow up to his splendid first novel. Come along and hear Simon read and raise a glass to the fortune of this unique and brilliant writer and his wonderful work. And check out this superb review!

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/may/23/nicholas-lezard-absence-absalon-review-simon-okotie

View Event →
Adam Thorpe - Missing Fay launch
Jun
15
6:30pm 6:30pm

Adam Thorpe - Missing Fay launch

This is a rare treat. Adam Thorpe is a writer whose range and versatility have long been admired by many, since the publication of his first novel Ulverton, arguably his most successful work to date. By the sounds of this recent review, he looks set to repeat that initial triumph. Thopre now lives in France - so don't miss this chance to see this master of his craft in Norwich!


Adam Thorpe’s superb new novel will put this gifted novelist back on the map

Review by David Grylls
The Sunday Times, May 28 2017, 12:01am

It is 25 years since Adam Thorpe came to fame with his virtuoso debut novel Ulverton. An intricate history of a fictional English village composed as a series of colourful monologues, it caught th...e public’s imagination and sold more than 70,000 copies. Since then, nothing in his varied output — poetry, drama, nine more novels — has matched the impact of that initial masterpiece.

His latest novel, a tour-de-force of depth and nuance, should run it close. Set in and around Lincoln in 2011 and 2012, Missing Fay tells the story of a 14-year-old girl who disappears from a council estate. Is she a runaway or a victim? No one knows. Her haunting face on a police photo — red hair, green eyes, a twisted tooth — flits disturbingly across the pages.

Harking back to Thorpe’s earlier fiction (the hero of his 1995 novel Still is mentioned), the book recalls Ulverton by weaving a tapestry of interlaced lives. As in Ulverton (but here through present tense, third person), Thorpe inhabits diverse minds and transmits distinctive voices. Now, though, the unifying thread is a person: a teenage girl with a “damaged mother” and “dodgy stepfather”, who bunks off school and steals from shops.

Just four short chapters recount Fay’s thoughts, tracing the four days before she vanishes. But her presence, or more strongly absence, is inescapable for the other characters. Only Sheena, the manager of an upmarket kiddies’ clothes shop, where the girl occasionally earned a few pounds, is “missing Fay” emotionally. But Mike, an introverted bookshop owner, gradually softens his indignant memory of her foul-mouthed abuse when he caught her filching. Cosmina, a Romanian care-home assistant, is troubled by finding what might be her coat. Chris, a frazzled television producer who has taken refuge in a monastery, dreams of her as an angel.

Given the minute details lavished on the characters — of jobs, memories, families, fears — the result could easily have become fragmentary. But, amazingly, Thorpe holds it together. The novelis a cat’s cradle of cross-references (and cats, purring, suspicious, tortured, figure in it tellingly). Patterns and symmetries integrate the stories. Identical episodes are retold with radical switches of perspective. An old man terrifying Fay in a park is actually recalling the faces he once pulled to amuse his little daughter. Cosmina’s polite relationship with Mike is for him a tense saga of yearning adoration. Two characters have disintegrating marriages, another two painful religious childhoods.

Supplementing the elaborately plaited narrative are curiously persistent motifs: whispering voices, eerie coldness, allusions to Red Riding Hood, angels and vampires. Gothic elements sneak through the text. The demonic Lincoln Imp, the cathedral’s famous gargoyle, presides over parts of the action.

All this could make Missing Fay sound mystical. In fact, one of its strengths is its realism. The lives of the characters are interpenetrated by urgent contemporary social issues: an ageing population, globalisation, environmental degradation. Fay’s vanishing takes place during a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. East European immigration is explored from several different angles. Thorpe’s underrated talent for comedy ripples pleasingly through several chapters. The opening one, describing an eco-keen couple trying to perk up their recalcitrant kids while dismayed by the charms of the Lincolnshire coast (mudflats, “puddled dilapidation”, “a rampart of static caravans and bungalows”), is a wonderful piece of laugh-out-loud satire.

Missing Fay is superb on many levels. Admittedly, some readers might complain that not only Fay is missing. Read as a thriller, the book lacks urgency; nor does it supply a neat resolution. But it is far more than a thriller. It is a vivid portrait of a particular locality, a psychological study of overlapping lives, a pitch-perfect piece of ventriloquism (as always, Thorpe is expert with dialect) and a sweeping conspectus of contemporary concerns. It is indeed a mystery story — but one that subtly tells you all you need to know. Thorpe has never really gone missing, but with the publication of this cornucopia he will surely burst back into prominence.

View Event →
The Day Ends Like Any Day - Timothy Ogene, book launch
May
4
to May 5

The Day Ends Like Any Day - Timothy Ogene, book launch

In the slum they call The Blocks, growing up is a strange affair...Sam, a young Nigerian whose father only speaks to the children once he has taken on enough alcohol, and whose mother won't accept that Sam is different from his siblings, is formed by the people he meets, the gay young man he cannot rescue from his tormentors, the girl whose rapist escapes when the women of the block march to mete out justice on him; and Pa Suku, a strange figure who opens Sam's eyes to books and music, poetry and jazz. Then Sam goes to college and confronts his own sexuality, his own lack of belonging. The Day Ends Like Any Day is the lyrical, challenging account of the multiple lives of a young Nigerian who refuses to accept that he has been shaped by the traumas of his past.

Timothy Ogene was born and raised in Nigeria, but has since lived in Liberia, Germany, and the UK. His poems and stories have appeared in many magazines and journals. He is the author of Descent & Other Poems, and holds degrees from St. Edward's University and the University of Oxford and is currently a UEA Creative Writing student.

View Event →
Simon Armitage - New Cemetery - Launch!
Mar
29
6:30pm 6:30pm

Simon Armitage - New Cemetery - Launch!

The Book Hive is delighted to announce the release of a brand new collection from one of England’s greatest living poets, Simon Armitage. New Cemetery is published by Propolis, the publishing imprint of The Book Hive, and will be launched at OPEN, where Simon will be reading and signing copies.

A poet, at a desk, in a shed. A shed which is temple, bunker, study and look-out post all rolled into one. Not far away, in the surrounding West Yorkshire countryside, the local council have begun “peeling back turf” to turn a former cow field into a new cemetery.

In this brand new collection from Simon Armitage, day-to- day observations become short and layered meditations addressed to any “reader” within earshot, f...rom the adulterers and learner drivers cruising the cemetery’s newly laid tarmac, to the cosmos itself, staring back with its “dumb face.”

In New Cemetery, Armitage faces up to the bylaws of local planning committees and the laws of the universe with his customary deft wit and detached lyricism, but with a stripped-back clarity and lo-fi approach that hints at a new beginning.

Simon will also be reading from The Unaccompanied, a newly released collection from Faber and Faber.

Tickets £5 - available from OPEN or The Book Hive website or shop

http://www.opennorwich.org.uk/gigs-and-events/simon-armitage.aspx

Doors at 6.30pm
Open has a fully licensed bar.

PLEASE NOTE THERE ARE NO PHYSICAL TICKETS IF YOU PURCHASE VIA OUR WEBSITE. Your name will be added to our database and for entry on the night.

View Event →
George Szirtes - double book launch!
Feb
23
6:00pm 6:00pm

George Szirtes - double book launch!

Join us to celebrate with the great George Szirtes the publication of TWO new volumes; one, just out called How To Be A Tiger, a collection of poetry for children, and the other which was published at the end of 2016, Mapping The Delta, a Poetry Book Society choice published by Bloodaxe. George will be reading from both books, starting with the kids at 6.00pm, when he will be joined by musicians Andy Kirkham and Hugh Stanner and children are most definitely welcome!! Then after that he will do a short reading from Mapping The Delta. The evening is free - so just turn up!!

View Event →
An evening with Carol Ann Duffy
Dec
1
6:30pm 6:30pm

An evening with Carol Ann Duffy

The last event of the year - taking place in the beautiful parish church of Aylsham - promises to round 2016 off with great style. The Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy will be reading from collections spanning her whole career, and with the humour and charm which are the hallmarks of her public appearances she will once again remind us of the importance that poetry can play in all our lives. She will be joined by the musician John Sampson who travels with a collection of wired and wonderful instruments: Together they present a show which is by turns uplifting, touching and hugely entertaining. A perfect way to get into the Christmas spirit! Carol Ann will sign books, which will be for sale, after the reading. This event will be popular so book early to avoid disappointment! Tickets are available from the Book Hive by phone, email or in person. £15, £12 for under 18s

Please remember, first of all, that the event is in St Michael's ChurchAylsham behind the market place, and NOT in the Town Hall as previous events have been. Your name will be on the door if you have booked and paid for it - there are no physical tickets. There is no organised car parking but there are a couple of public car parks in the town and some street parking, so look them up before if you are unsure. There is also a regular bus service from Norwich and Cromer. The doors will open at 6.30pm and Carol Ann will probably start around 7pm. However both her and John Sampson are travelling long distances that day to be here, so if it's a few minutes later we shall have to bear with them! There will be drinks being served and lots of books to browse and buy (cash and card accepted) before hand for the signing at the end, so if you are a bit early you wont be left in the cold! The evening is advertised to end at 9.30pm, but this includes book signing time, so you could leave earlier. If you are hoping to book a table for dinner somewhere, I would suggest 9.00pm to be safe.

I hope this answers any questions you might have, but feel free to call the shop if not. See you there! 

View Event →
The West Norfolk Question by William Barr - launch!
Nov
25
6:30pm 6:30pm

The West Norfolk Question by William Barr - launch!

If you feel that 2016 has been a disappointment - politically or, indeed, in any other way - then let me recommend to you the antidote of William Barr's new novel The West Norfolk Question. It is likely that many of you wont have heard of William Barr. He is an unusual author for The Book Hive in that he is a local, self published writer and we generally don't stock titles from the many, many, many people who fall into that bracket. However over the years we have stocked William's books and here is an example of why: I have just finished The West Norfolk Question and in reading it I lost count of the amount of times I laughed aloud. I found myself putting the TV on for the kids so I could go upstairs and read more in peace. It is, I would guess, a self-proclaimed bit of silliness. But like all the best silliness and satire it is rooted in a keen understanding of the politics and people it mocks. It's absurdity provides a brilliant critique of the kind of people who crave 'Independence' and the sort of Nationalism which has seen the forces of loathing and prejudice unleashed across the world in recent months. It uses the splendid maxim that 'In Norfolk We Do Different' to fuel the kind of bigotry that we have come to know so well - as well as parody many of our recent political leaders, not to mention some of the Norfolk native's unique characteristics. 

If you believe that the best way to cope with the Brexiteering Trumpsters of the world is to keep laughing, then this is the book for you. I urge you to give it a go!

View Event →
The work of Georges Simenon
Nov
9
7:00pm 7:00pm

The work of Georges Simenon

Join John Simenon, the son of the great Georges Simenon and the man responsible for all his father's affairs and literary estate in conversation with Howard Curtis, one of the translators of the huge new Penguin series of Simenon titles being released once a month. This promises to be a fascinating evening of insight into the great man - especially the 'non-Maigret' work - by two people very close to him. This event is co-hosted by The Book Hive, The Millennium library and Penguin, whose support we are grateful for, and it will take place in the event space on the ground floor of The Millennium Library.

Please contact the shop to reserve a place, as this event is free but ticketed.

View Event →
The Making of the British Landscape with Nicholas Crane
Nov
4
6:30pm 6:30pm

The Making of the British Landscape with Nicholas Crane

Join us in Aylsham Town Hall for an evening with the much respected and well renowned writer and broadcaster Nicholas Crane. Perhaps best known for his co-presenting of the long running BBC series Coast, Nick is also the president of The Royal Geographical Society as well as a writer and explorer. His new book, The Making of the British Landscape is published this October. Tickets are £12 in advance from the shop by phone, email or in person.

Nicholas Crane's new book brilliantly describes the evolution of Britain's countryside and cities. It is part journey, part history, and it concludes with awkward questions about the future of Britain's landscapes. Nick Crane's story begins with the melting tongues of glaciers and the emergence of a gigantic game-park tentatively being explored by a vanguard of Mesolithic adventurers who have taken the long, northward hike across the land bridge from the continent. The Iron Age develops into a pre-Roman 'Golden Era' and Crane looks at what the Romans did (and didn't) contribute to the British landscape. Major landscape 'events' (Black Death, enclosures, urbanisation, recreation, etc.) are fully described and explored, and he weaves in the role played by geology in shaping our cities, industry and recreation, the effect of climate (and the Gulf Stream), and of global economics (the Lancashire valleys were formed by overseas markets). The co-presenter of BBC's COAST also covers the extraordinary benefits bestowed by a 6,000-mile coastline. The 12,000-year story of the British landscape culminates in the twenty-first century, which is set to be one of the most extreme centuries of change since the Ice Age. 

View Event →
New Year's Day Is Black - launch of new book from our own imprint
Oct
7
6:30pm 6:30pm

New Year's Day Is Black - launch of new book from our own imprint

We are thrilled to announce the launch of New Year's Day Is Black by Nicky Loutit, the new book from Propolis, The Book Hive's own imprint. It is - as you can gather from just some of the early reaction to it below - a remarkable book, unlike anything else and told in a stunning combination of words and paintings. Come along on the night for signed copies and to meet the author, or pre-order from the Propolis site. www.propolisbooks.co.uk

New Year's Day Is Black

In 2015 the artist Nicky Loutit began making paintings and putting down thoughts which evolved as she walked the coast of North Norfolk. New Year's Day Is Black is a visualization of memory; of how our past returns to us when we least expect or want it to. It is a meditation on motherhood, ageing and the journey of a life fully lived.

As the child of prominent members of London's cultural elite in the '40s and '50s, her place was that of an infant hanger-on, mostly ignored by the artistic and intellectual crowd she was born into. But beneath that veneer of bohemian eccentricity, Loutit silently endured a life marked by physical, mental and sexual abuse at the hands of some of those responsible for her.

Recounting the occasional kindness of the people she knew, including George Orwell, Cyril Connolly and Frances Partridge, alongside the trauma of her abuse, Loutit paints a life which triumphs over regret and adversity. Her story affords those who experience it the chance to be moved and inspired by a remarkable woman in a remarkable way.

 

Right from the start I found it completely gripping. Beautiful and horrifying... The human story had me at its beck and call the whole way through - utterly extraordinary. The evocation of that very particular loneliness irrelevant children feel was almost unbearable: Congratulations to Nicky Loutit for making work out of the terrible.

Eimear McBride

What follows is a story of neglect and but also of survival and, in the end, renewal…It is a quietly devastating book, which deserves the widest possible circulation. 

D.J.Taylor

Nicky Loutit's words, drawings and paintings combine in an urgent and original way to propel us along the rocky road of her journey. It is disturbing territory and the adventure is brave, compelling and moving.  
Maggi Hambling
Can a child's pain be assimilated into art? Can joy emerge from a determination not to turn away from darkness? Do age and introspection have the power to heal the soul? The answer according to Nicky Loutit’s haunting visual memoir is yes, yes, defiantly gloriously yes.  
Meg Rosoff
 
View Event →
An evening with Tommy Wieringa
Oct
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

An evening with Tommy Wieringa

Join us on the 6th October for an event with the superb Dutch novelist Tommy Wieringa. One of his recent books was the much celebrated Joe Speedboat which was a firm favourite with customers at The Book Hive, and another novel, Little Caesar, was set on the East Anglian coast. His latest novel to be translated into English is A Beautiful Young Wife:

'He had never married and had never been with one woman for long; he had always remained a collector of first times.' Edward Landauer, a brilliant microbiologist in his forties, meets a beautiful young woman. She is the love of his life, and when the two marry in France, Edward is the happiest man in the world. At first, Ruth Walta appears to represent a victory over time, but even she cannot stop him growing older. After the birth of their long-awaited son, the 'happiness, delicate like filigree' turns into something new, and Edward no longer recognises his great romance nor the woman who induced it. 

And here is an excellent review to whet your appetite...

https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/jul/31/a-beautiful-young-wife-tommy-wieringa-review

Tommy is over from Holland doing only a few UK dates - so be sure not to miss him here!!

View Event →
Eimear McBride. The Lesser Bohemians. Launch.
Sep
6
6:30pm 6:30pm

Eimear McBride. The Lesser Bohemians. Launch.

It's here. (Nearly). The much anticipated second novel by a woman considered to be one of the most important writers working today. Eimear is launching her new book, The Lesser Bohemians, at The Book Hive on 6th September and you are invited to come along and celebrate...

‘So sit we. Separate. Years apart while the night turns itself, in his forty watt, into waste and into past. I tip tongue to questions but he is closed eyes and I know what I did. Here’s the room though, where done though. Remember everything.'

An eighteen-year-old Irish girl arrives in London to study drama and falls passionately, dangerously in love with an older actor. This older man has a dark past that the young girl is unprepared for. The young girl has her own more recent past to reckon with. Unnamed at the start, this is her story and their story. The Lesser Bohemians is about sexual passion. It is about innocence and the loss of it. At once epic and exquisitely intimate, it is a celebration of love: the way it can both destroy and create. 

Join us - and Eimear - to mark the start of this next stage in her extraordinary career.

View Event →
Rilla Askew - all the way from Oklahoma
Jul
26
6:30pm 6:30pm

Rilla Askew - all the way from Oklahoma

We are delighted to be welcoming to the shop an author all the way from The States who happens to be in the country researching her next book. However she will be talking about her novel Kind of Kin - and if I show you this small strap line, you will see just how relevant the themes are to us here in the UK - 'when a church-going, community-loved, family man is caught hiding a barn-full of illegal immigrant workers, he is arrested and sent to prison. This shocking development sends ripples through the town—dividing neighbors, causing riffs amongst his family, and spurring controversy across the state.' Rilla also says of it - '...the book is about immigration and features an ambition politician who is using anti-immigrant sentiment in Oklahoma to promote her career.' Say no more...

I am also attaching a video link here so you can see her talking about her writing and where she comes from.
This promises to be a fascinating evening and a rare chance to hear an intelligent voice from across the pond in our own community whose opinions about our national and global political situation will be well worth hearing. Don't miss it...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Txa5HQc3NhI

View Event →
Tim Burgess of The Charlatans has a new book - and he's coming here...
Jul
18
7:00pm 7:00pm

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans has a new book - and he's coming here...

In 2012, Tim Burgess of the Charlatans published his hugely successful and critically acclaimed memoir, Telling Stories. Tim really enjoyed his new role as an author, and so here it is: Tim Book Two - a tale of Tim's lifelong passion for records, the shops that sell them, and the people who make them.

In some ways, the biggest events in Tim's life happened in the couple of years after he had finished writing his first book rather than in the forty years before. So he had more to say, but instead of another autobiography he chose a different way of telling the story. Tim set himself a quest. He would get in touch with people he admired, and ask them to suggest an album for him to track down on his travels, giv...ing an insight into what makes them tick. It would also offer a chance to see how record shops were faring in the digital age - one in which vinyl was still a much-treasured format.

Tim assembled his cast of characters, from Iggy Pop to Johnny Marr, David Lynch to Cosey Fanni Tutti. Texts, phone calls, emails and handwritten notes went out. Here is the tender, funny and surprising story of what came back.

We will be hosting an evening with Tim, who will be chatting with Cosey Fanni Tutti and Chris Carter, (Throbbing Gristle amongst other things) and Luke Turner (The Quietus). It is ticketed but tickets are free, however you need to have your name on the door as there are limited places so please make contact to ensure you get in. It promises to be a fantastic night. Books will be on sale for signing. We are holding it at North on Fye Bridge Street, the excellent new sister bar to Franks, so you can enjoy great drinks too. Doors at 7.00pm.

View Event →
The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry - launch
Jun
9
6:30pm 6:30pm

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry - launch

Norwich-based Sarah Perry, winner of the EDP East Anglian Book of the Year 2014 for After Me Comes the Flood launches her second novel, The Essex Serpent. Join us for a reading and Q&A to celebrate.

The Essex Serpent is a novel to relish: a work of great intelligence and charm, by a hugely talented author’ Sarah Waters

‘A blissful novel of unapologetic appetites, where desire and faith mingle on the marshes.’ Jessie Burton

‘I loved this book ... It is so good its pages seem lit from within. As soon as I'd finished it I started reading it again.’ Helen MacDonald 

‘Had Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker come together to write the great Victorian novel, I wonder if it would have surpassed The Essex Serpent? No way of knowing, but with only her second outing, Sarah Perry establishes herself as one of the finest fiction writers working in Britain today’ John Burnside

London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where she hopes fresh air and open space will provide the refuge they need.

When they take lodgings in Colchester, rumours reach them from further up the estuary that the mythical Essex Serpent, once said to roam the marshes claiming human lives, has returned to the coastal parish of Aldwinter. Cora, a keen amateur naturalist with no patience for religion or superstition, is immediately enthralled, convinced that what the local people think is a magical beast may be a previously undiscovered species. As she sets out on its trail, she is introduced to William Ransome, Aldwinter’s vicar.

Like Cora, Will is deeply suspicious of the rumours, but he thinks they are founded on moral panic, a flight from real faith. As he tries to calm his parishioners, he and Cora strike up an intense relationship, and although they agree on absolutely nothing, they find themselves inexorably drawn together and torn apart, eventually changing each other’s lives in ways entirely unexpected.

Told with exquisite grace and intelligence, this novel is most of all a celebration of love, and the many different guises it can take.

This book promises to be big - come and join it right at the start!

View Event →
Eimear McBride and Anakana Schofield in conversation
May
27
to May 28

Eimear McBride and Anakana Schofield in conversation

Join us for the second event featuring writers from the wonderful indie press And Other Stories. This time Eimear Mcbride (A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing) will be talking to Anakana Schofield about the latter's new book, Martin John:

Martin John must put a stop to it. They have an agreement, he and Mam. Get out to Aunty Noanie on Wednesday. Stop talking rubbish. Don’t go near the buses and don’t go down on the Tube. Keep yourself on the outside. Get a job at night. Get a job at night or else I’ll come for ya.

But Martin John can’t stop. Meddlers are interrupting him and Martin John doesn’t like Meddlers. If he’s interrupted he can’t complete his circuits; if he can’t complete his circuits, bad things may happen. That’s a fact.

Written with all the electrifying humour of her award-winning debut Malarky, exhibiting a startling grasp of the loops and obsessions of a molester’s mind, Martin John is a testament to Anakana Schofield’s skill and audacity—and stands as a brilliant, Beckettian exploration of a man’s long slide into deviancy.

Anakana won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award and the Debut-Litzer Prize for Fiction in 2013 for her debut novel Malarky. Malarky was also nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, selected as a Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers pick and named on many Best Book of the Year lists for 2012 and 2013. Martin John, her critically acclaimed second novel, was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. 

Two great writers talking about writing - come and enjoy!!

http://www.andotherstories.org/

View Event →
Joyce and Polly Dunbar - new book launch
May
17
6:30pm 6:30pm

Joyce and Polly Dunbar - new book launch

The mighty mother and daughter duo are back! Come and celebrate the launch of their new collaboration, I Will Not Wear Pink!! When Plunkett the pig gets an invitation from Priscilla Pig he is excited, until he sees the dress code: WEAR PINK. Plunkett sets out for the party adorned in the pink outfit Priscilla has sent him, but very soon flings away the prescribed party gear in favour of his own favorite colour his own skin, which also happens to be pink! A glorious romp in celebration of personal freedom and choice, and also featuring glorious brown mud as well as a romantic ending!

View Event →
Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Lina Wolff translated by Frank Perry
Apr
18
6:30pm 6:30pm

Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Lina Wolff translated by Frank Perry

At a run-down brothel in Caudal, Spain, the prostitutes are collecting stray dogs. Each is named after a famous male writer: Dante, Chaucer, Bret Easton Ellis. When a john is cruel, the dogs are fed rotten meat. To the east, in Barcelona, an unflappable teenage girl is endeavouring to trace the peculiarities of her life back to one woman: Alba Cambó, writer of violent short stories, who left Caudal as a girl and never went back.

Mordantly funny, dryly sensual, written with a staggering lightness of touch, the debut novel in English by Swedish sensation Lina Wolff is a black and Bolaño-esque take on the limitations of love in a dog-eat-dog world.

Lina Wolff has lived and worked in Italy and Spain. During her years in Valencia and Madrid, she began to write her short story collection Många människor dör som du (‘Many People Die Like You’; Albert Bonniers Förlag, 2009). Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs, her first novel, was awarded the prestigious Vi Magazine Literature Prize and shortlisted for the 2013 Swedish Radio Award for Best Novel of the Year.

Join us for this event co-hosted by And Other Stories, the superb publisher of contemporary work in translation for a rare chance to see this much feted new writer while she is in the UK. We are honoured to be hosting her - so dont miss the chance to join us! She will be in conversation with Sarah Perry, author of the highly acclaimed After Me Comes The Flood.

 

View Event →
The Print Museum by Heidi Williamson - Launch
Mar
24
6:30pm 6:30pm

The Print Museum by Heidi Williamson - Launch

The Print Museum (Bloodaxe)

In her second collection, printer’s daughter Heidi Williamson mines the rich language and history of printing to consider themes of belonging, parenthood, love, and how we communicate, and fail to communicate, with each other.

Individual, familial and cultural inheritance is explored – through subjects ranging from Gutenberg to Gill, Kindles, Twitter, ultrasounds, the death of Diana, 3D printing, climate change, childlessness, genes, and what is downloadable.

By turns sensual, playful, and stark, The Print Museum collects exhibits and fragments from this fading industrial art and displays them alongside pieces driven by the same forces of longing, loss, transformation and delight.

Join Heidi to help launch this new collection published by the excellent Bloodaxe.

6.30 - free

http://www.heidiwilliamsonpoet.com/

View Event →
The world famous Bookshop Band are coming to play!
Mar
8
6:00pm 6:00pm

The world famous Bookshop Band are coming to play!

The Bookshop Band are Ben Please and Beth Porter, who write songs inspired by books and play them in bookshops. Their performances are inextricably linked to the books themselves, as the band take it in turns to describe where the inspiration for each song came from.
“The Bookshop Band’s approach to song writing is entirely original, and the results are both surprising and beautiful. They are two talented musicians coming to the same point from different directions.” - Louis De Bernieres

It all began in late 2010 as a collaboration between three songwriters with their local independent bookshop - Mr B’s Emporium of Reading Delights in Bath, to inject some music into the shop’s author events. The band would read the book of the visiting author, write a song inspired by their response to that book and then play it back to the author and audience at the author events in the shop. After one year The Bookshop Band had written and recorded four albums of book-inspired material. As word spread they began to be asked to play in other bookshops too...
The next three years saw the band touring all over the UK, Ireland and Europe, playing both literary and music festivals along side bookshops, libraries and schools and appearing regularly on radio and television. With the rate of writing still high but the band in high demand to perform the start of 2015 revealed a backlog of 100 new songs still to be recorded. 
With change came the opportunity to take stock, and with huge support from fans and authors who wanted
to see these songs recorded, Ben and Beth have spent much of 2015 recording them all to the best of their
ability. 
So in 2016 The Bookshop Band will be releasing a staggering 9 brand new albums, in addition to officially releasing their first 4 albums, which have until now only been available to buy at concerts. Over one album a month! This means that the 6th year of The Bookshop Band is building it’s own momentum with a rapidly growing schedule of concerts being booked all over the UK and beyond!

We are delighted that they have chosen The Book Hive to be one of their venues - check out their website for more info about their songs. There will ONLY BE 30 TICKETS for this event at £5 each! There will be no specific author involvement, but instead an intimate gig spanning lots of their songs. A must for anyone who loves books, bookshops and music! Please phone the book hive to put your name on the list for this special evening.

http://www.thebookshopband.co.uk/

View Event →
Jumpin' Jack Flash - David Litvinoff and the Rock 'n' Roll Underworld
Feb
2
6:30pm 6:30pm

Jumpin' Jack Flash - David Litvinoff and the Rock 'n' Roll Underworld

Jumpin’ Jack Flash: David Litvinoff and the Rock’n’Roll Underworld is the first book published about David Litvinoff (1928–75), who has been described as ‘one of the great mythic characters of ’60s London’ – outrageous, possessed of a lightning wit and intellect, dangerous to know, always lurking in the shadows as the spotlight shone on his famous friends. Flitting between the worlds of music, art and crime, he exerted a hidden influence that helped create the Kray twins’ legend and Lucian Freud’s reputation as a man never to be crossed; connected the Rolling Stones with London’s dark side; redirected Eric Clapton’s musical career; and shaped the plot of the classic film Performance by revealing his knowledge of the city’s underworld, a decision that put his life in danger.
Litvinoff’s determination to live without trace means that his life has always eluded biographers, until now. This extraordinary feat of research entailed 100 interviews over five years, with everyone from Eric Clapton and Marianne Faithfull to James Fox and ‘Mad’ Frankie Fraser: the result is by turns wickedly funny, appalling, revelatory and moving, and epic in its scope as it traces a rogue’s progress at the interface of bohemia and criminality from the early Fifties to the Seventies. It is also an account of Keiron Pim’s determined pursuit of Litvinoff’s ghost, which took him from London to Wales and Australia in a quest to reveal one of British pop culture’s last great untold stories.

Join ex-EDP journalist Keiron Pim to help launch this brilliant new book, and hear him in conversation with Paul Willetts, author of a number of books about the seedier side of Soho life...

View Event →