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53 London Street
Norwich
United Kingdom

01603219268

Situated in the heart of Norwich in the Lanes area of the city, The Book Hive is a beautiful three storey building housing a unique collection of books in a quirky and stylish setting. As the city’s only truly independent new bookshop, it stocks a personally chosen and intriguing selection of titles, often hard to find elsewhere, in five main categories; Fiction, Poetry, Art & Design, Children’s Books and Cookery.

Events

Situated in the heart of Norwich in the Lanes area of the city, The Book Hive is a beautiful three storey building housing a unique collection of books in a quirky and stylish setting. 


Simon Armitage - New Cemetery - Launch!
Mar
29
6:30 pm18:30

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.

George Szirtes - double book launch!
Feb
23
6:00 pm18:00

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!!

An evening with Carol Ann Duffy
Dec
1
6:30 pm18:30

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! 

The West Norfolk Question by William Barr - launch!
Nov
25
6:30 pm18:30

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!

The work of Georges Simenon
Nov
9
7:00 pm19:00

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.

The Making of the British Landscape with Nicholas Crane
Nov
4
6:30 pm18:30

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. 

New Year's Day Is Black - launch of new book from our own imprint
Oct
7
6:30 pm18:30

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
 
An evening with Tommy Wieringa
Oct
6
6:30 pm18:30

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!!

Eimear McBride. The Lesser Bohemians. Launch.
Sep
6
6:30 pm18:30

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.

Rilla Askew - all the way from Oklahoma
Jul
26
6:30 pm18:30

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

Tim Burgess of The Charlatans has a new book - and he's coming here...
Jul
18
7:00 pm19:00

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.

The Essex Serpent by Sarah Perry - launch
Jun
9
6:30 pm18:30

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!

Eimear McBride and Anakana Schofield in conversation
May
27
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/

Joyce and Polly Dunbar - new book launch
May
17
6:30 pm18:30

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!

Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs by Lina Wolff translated by Frank Perry
Apr
18
6:30 pm18:30

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.

 

The Print Museum by Heidi Williamson - Launch
Mar
24
6:30 pm18:30

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/

The world famous Bookshop Band are coming to play!
Mar
8
6:00 pm18:00

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/

Jumpin' Jack Flash - David Litvinoff and the Rock 'n' Roll Underworld
Feb
2
6:30 pm18:30

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...

The Prose Factory by D J Taylor - launch party
Jan
14
6:30 pm18:30

The Prose Factory by D J Taylor - launch party

What do we mean when we talk about ‘taste’?

'Taste’ takes countless forms. There is the exclusive taste of highbrow critics such as T.S. Eliot and F.R. Leavis. There is the taste of ordinary book lovers persuaded to buy the best-sellers of the day. And there is the taste of Virginia Woolf’s elusive ‘common reader’. A taste that in the days of the Victorian reading public was founded on shared standards but now, in the age of Twitter and the blogosphere, is fragmenting into chaos.

Spanning a century of literary history, from the pitched battles fought between Eliot-era modernists and Georgian traditionalists to the political in-fighting of the Thirties, the arrival of the upwardly mobile post-war ‘New Man’ and the impact of creative writing degrees and the media don, The Prose Factory explores the myriad influences on English literary life in the past century and the way in which they have shaped our preferences.

It is also a tale of personalities – ‘star reviewers’, sniping critics, caballing editors, crusading ideologues, megalomaniac professors, Arts Council functionaries – a tale of dazzling successes and embittered failures in which gossip and intrigue are as important as intellectual zeal. Above all, it is a study of change. We live in a world where is ever more difficult for professional writers to make a living, where the dangers of institutionalisation lurk on every corner and where critical authority is giving way to the whims of cyberspace. Wide-ranging and controversial, as interested in the newspaper essayist and the bookclub best-seller as the view from Mount Olympus, The Prose Factory is the book that D.J. Taylor was born to write.

Join David in the shop for a reading and topical discussion with Anthony Thwaite to mark the launch of this major new work.

 

Free - 6.30pm

Han Kang in conversation with Deborah Smith and Max Porter
Jan
12
6:30 pm18:30

Han Kang in conversation with Deborah Smith and Max Porter

Join us for what promises to be a superb evening of discussion and reading from a stunning talent, whose new book - Human Acts - will have just been published.

Gwangju, South Korea, 1980. In the wake of a viciously suppressed student uprising, a boy searches for his friend's corpse, a consciousness searches for its abandoned body, and a brutalised country searches for a voice. In a sequence of interconnected chapters the victims and the bereaved encounter censorship, denial, forgiveness and the echoing agony of the original trauma.

Human Acts is a universal book, utterly modern and profoundly timeless. Already a controversial bestseller and award-winning book in Korea, it confirms Han Kang as a writer of immense importance.

Han Kang's last book, The Vegetarian, received unanimous critical acclaim. It was translated by Deborah Smith, as her new book also is, and published by Max Porter who was last in the shop discussing his own book, Grief Is The Thing With Feathers. The three will be talking about Korea, translation and publishing and Han Kang, who is no stranger to Norwich having spent time on a residency here this year, will read and discuss her new book.

The publisher, author and translator are especially grateful for the vital support of English PEN
 

6,30pm

Free

Max Porter and Eimear McBride in conversation
Nov
30
6:30 pm18:30

Max Porter and Eimear McBride in conversation

In 2009 when I first decided to open a bookshop in Norwich, my sister in law said that I should go and speak to her mate in London who was at the time running a branch of Daunt Books in Chelsea. So down I went and spent a very enjoyable hour or so with a tall, enthusiastic and generous chap who offered all sorts of advice as we sat outside the shop smoking and drinking lemonade. I asked him if he ever thought he might open his own shop. 'Well if I was going to I would have done it in Norwich, so no, not now!' he said, and then added, 'But if I did, I'd call it Porterstones', which was a lovely little pun on his name - Max Porter. Skip a few years and Max has remained a good friend and supporter throughout his own professional changes - from Daunt to Granta, where he remains an editor and now to being an author. His book 'Grief Is The Thing With Feathers' came out earlier this year and really shouldn't need any introducing to people interested in contemporary writing; it has been everywhere, it's beautiful and classically 'Faber' style design appearing alongside an embarrassment of riches of superb reviews. Shortlisted for The Goldsmiths Prize and The Guardian First Book Award, it remains at the top of the charts, where it looks set to stay until it falls gently into place as a modern classic.

Another book which had similar outrageous success is Eimear McBride's A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing, which also has deep ties with The Book Hive. And when it was newly out and Eimear was doing the rounds, she did an event at Dulwich Books and was interviewed by a young editor from Granta who had also had a recent success with a book he'd picked up called The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton - winner of the 2013 Booker Prize. He was Max...

And now it is my great pleasure to re-unite these shining stars ofmodern fiction in The Book Hive for an event that promises to be filled with insight into the world of writing and publishing- and what it is like to find oneself, all of a sudden, not just a successful author but an important one.

Monday 30th November
6.30
Free

The Bright Rose - Early German Verse, 800-1200
Nov
12
6:00 pm18:00

The Bright Rose - Early German Verse, 800-1200

Never published in verse form before, these translations of some of the earliest known German poetry give us a rich glimpse of a life that, while alien in so many ways, was not so different after all. The Minnesang poets, for example, engage in a highly professional ritual, but compose in cognitive metaphors that still ring true: love is a trap; love is a game; love is war. A beautiful, lyrical journey through the passions and fears of pre-Medieval German life, told by some of its finest poetic voices.

Edited, translated and read on the night by Philip Wilson

Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall, London
Nov
3
4:30 pm16:30

Small Publishers Fair, Conway Hall, London

We will be taking part - as Propolis - in the wonderful small publisher's fair on 6th 7th November. Please come and see us on either day and have a look round this brilliant celebration of books and artist book makers.

The Book Hive publishes its first children's book - Custom Fast Wheels by Joe Currie
Sep
18
6:30 pm18:30

The Book Hive publishes its first children's book - Custom Fast Wheels by Joe Currie

Propolis and The Book Hive are thrilled to announce the arrival of this startling debut picture book from artist Joe Currie, the first title from our own children's imprint, Stickybooks. Custom Fast Wheels is an exquisitely hand drawn and water-coloured book for children and adults alike, sure to excite and entertain those who love good storytelling, stunning art work and fast cars!

When a young boy (puppy!) finds an old poster advertising the big 'Race Day' his grandpa (an old dawg) is taken back to his heyday as one of the great drivers in the Custom Fast Wheels road race. Together they go back in time, with us the reader, and re-live the thrills and spills of the ultimate auto-adventure! Told with minimal t...ext, this is a story which is brought to life purely through the electricity of the illustration – funny, exciting and cool beyond words...

Joe Currie is an artist based in Norfolk. He trained at the Royal College of Art on the bronze casting foundry course and has since been a studio technician for, amongst others, Charles Saatchi, Anthony Caro and Damien Hirst. He has worked as a sculptor at all the major UK film studios on sets for many features including The Golden Compass, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Quantum of Solace and the Marvel movies. He has also been a pyrotechnician for film, a stunt canoeist and a fashion photographer's assistant. As an artist he has exhibited and sold around the world and is currently working on a show for a USA exhibition in 2016 where he will also be making an attempt for the world land speed record for a sculpture, which will be documented in a film 'Multisculpture 24/7'. Custom Fast Wheels is his first book.

Come and join us for the launch party for this wonderful book - get signed copies, posters, prints, original artwork. Be there at the beginning!!

Our very own Sally's book launch!!
Aug
4
6:30 pm18:30

Our very own Sally's book launch!!

Come and join in this very special occasion, as we launch How You See Me by Sally Craythorne, whom many of you will know as the lovely Sally who woks in the shop! The novel has already been a summer pick at W H Smith's airport shops and is released properly now...

Daniel Laird has returned to his remote family home in Norfolk to care for his ailing artist father. Living an isolated existence - - with his father unable to speak and only their brusque housekeeper, Maggie, for company - Daniel describes the strangeness of coming home after an eight-year absence in a series of vivid and passionate letters to his sister, his boss and to Alice, his one true love. But it is not until he discovers a hidden cache of his father's paintings that the truth begins to surface. The more Daniel writes, the more we learn about the past and about why he left all those years ago - and the more we begin to fear for those he claims to hold dear. Taut and suspenseful, this powerful novel compulsively unfolds in Daniel's own hand, exploring the terrifying power of the mind to deceive, not only others but - most frightening of all - ourselves.

The Beechwood Airship Interviews - launch
Jul
30
6:30 pm18:30

The Beechwood Airship Interviews - launch

A journey into the headspaces and workplaces of some of Britain's most unique artists, from the co-author of the critically acclaimed 'Holloway'.

 

Bill Drummond. Richard Lawrence.

Stanley Donwood. Jenny Saville. David Nash.

Manic Street Preachers. Dame Judi Dench. Cally Callomon.

Sheryl Garratt. Vaughan Oliver. Jane Bown.

Steve Gullick. Stewart Lee. The Butcher of Common Sense.

Robert Macfarlane. Artists. Writers.

Photographers. Musicians. A comedian.

An actor. A printer. An airship.

 

The people interviewed in this book come from all corners of Britain's cultural landscape but are united in their commitment to their craft. At the beginning of this extraordinary memoir, Dan Richards impulsively decides to build an airship in his art school bar, an act of opposition which leads him to meet and interview some of Britain's most extraordinary artists, craftsmen and technicians in the spaces and environments in which they work. His search for what it is that compels both him and them to create becomes a profound examination of what it is to be an artist in 21st Century Britain, and an inspiring testament to the importance of making art for art's sake.
This is a Norwich book! The art school referred to here is Norwich, (now NUA), and Dan is very much a Norwich face. Come and celebrate the launch of this fascinating and unique book.
Thursday 30th July - 6.30pm FREE

Four Norwich writers present their work...
Jul
10
6:00 pm18:00

Four Norwich writers present their work...

Come and join us for a celebration of four of Norwich's hottest young literary talents, two of whom are exploding onto the scene at this very moment! Join Jenn Ashworth, Sarah Perry, Benjamin Johncock and (Book Hive's very own!) Sally Craythorne for an evening of readings and chat as we mark the launch of two new careers, (Ben and Sally whose books are just coming out now) and celebrate the success of two others. A rare chance to hear four young writers who are starting out or not long in the game comparing notes, spilling the beans and sharing their work in the city where they honed their craft. A great evening for readers and writers alike!
Follow the links for more on each of them.
6.00pm - 10th July - FREE
http://jennashworth.co.uk/
http://www.benjohncock.com/writing/home.html
http://sarahperry.moonfruit.com/
http://www.myriadeditions.com/creator/s-e-craythorne/

Some early copies of Sally's book will be available by special permission of the publisher!

Rupert the Dinosaur on the Allotment - launch
Jun
9
6:30 pm18:30

Rupert the Dinosaur on the Allotment - launch

Join us for the launch party of this beautiful picture book from Norwich author Doug Vallgren. His debut book "Rupert the Dinosaur" was short-listed for the East Anglian Book of the Year Award 2014. In judging, Joyce Dunbar said "Rupert the Dinosaur is of an exceptionally high standard...Entertaining and Vibrant".  

"Rupert the Dinosaur on the Allotment" carries on with this winning formula. A jolly jovial jaunt of a story with educational and moral themes woven in with beautifully hand painted illustrations by Karl Newson.

So come along and meet Doug Vallgren and  Karl Newson, who will be at hand to doodle and sketch and even teach you how to draw a dinosaur, with half a football and a baked bean. How else?

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century
May
14
6:30 pm18:30

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century

Join us for the launch party of this superb new title from Granta, by the Norfolk based writer Hugh Aldersey-Williams about the Norwich based writer (and so much more...) Sir Thomas Browne.

A profound and delightful jeu d'esprit of a book, mixing biography, etymology, cultural history and quixotic scientific experiments. Aldersey-Williams pulls the unfairly neglected yet enormously influential writer Thomas Browne out of the obscure pages of Pseudodoxia Epidemica and into the 21st century, to apply his generous curiosity and rational intelligence to the vagaries and contradictions of life today. Browne has had some impressive fans (Sebald, Woolf, Borges, Poe, Marias) but this book will revive him, bringing his extraordinary genius to a whole new audience.

Hugh will read from the book and talk a little about Browne and his extraordinary influence over some of the world's great writers and thinkers.

Free - drinks,books,reading

6.30

An English Trip: John Doran aka 'Jolly Lad' Book Tour
May
5
6:30 pm18:30

An English Trip: John Doran aka 'Jolly Lad' Book Tour

An English Trip: Arabrot featuring John Doran - BOOK TOUR

'JOLLY LAD' by John Doran

Published in hardback, paperback and electronic edition by Strange Attractor in June 2015.

Cover art by Simon Fowler and illustrations by Krent Able. 

Hardback Edition comes with free CD of readings and music from Nicky Wire of Manic Street Preachers, Abi & Neil of British Sea Power, Eccentronic Research Council, Teeth Of The Sea, English Heretic, Grumbling Fur, Mark Dicker, GNOD and Bronze Teeth. 

JOLLY LAD is a memoir about the recovery from alcoholism, habitual drug use and mental illness. It is also about the healing power of music, how memory defines us, the redemption offered by fatherhood and what it means to be working class. 

In 2011 VICE magazine asked music journalist John Doran for a weekly column. The only instruction they gave me was simple: “You can write about whatever you want but it can’t be about music.”

The column ended up being called MENK – a shortened version of ‘mental’ used in some, but by no means all, parts of Merseyside, to mean intellectually feeble or mentally handicapped rather than mentally ill. Doran grew up round the corner from the largest Victorian insane asylum in Europe, Rainhill Hospital, and this harsh epithet would be shouted at him by other kids when he got off the bus after school.

The column ended up being about the minutiae of Doran’s life. It was about gentrification; being diagnosed bipolar; attending Alcoholics Anonymous; living in a block of flats on a housing estate in London; the psychological damage done by psychedelic drugs; depression; DJing; factory work; friendship; growing old; hallucinations; street violence and obsessive behaviour – especially regarding music and art.

The column proved relatively popular – or at least no one asked him to stop writing it. By Spring of 2014, after three years, he had filed 66 chapters of MENK so decided to take a hiatus while he worked on this book. Instead of releasing an anthology of columns however, he decided to completely rewrite the material into a narrative, which would concern his recovery from alcoholism, the attempt to cope with mental illness and becoming a father.

He says: “I was determined not to write a ‘my drink and drug hell’ kind of book for several reasons – the main one being that I had, for the most part, had a really good time drinking. True, a handful of pretty appalling things have happened to me and some people that I know or used to know over the years. But I have, for the most part, left them out of this book as they are not illuminating, not edifying and in some cases concern other people who aren’t here to consent to their appearance. Instead this book concentrates on what you face after the drink and the drugs have gone.

“In my experience, being an alcoholic is debt consolidation for your life. Drink becomes the only thing you care about – eventually to the point where you don’t even care if you live or die. So when you stop drinking... well, that’s when the real trouble starts. Everything you drank to avoid dealing with — which in my case included mental illness, debt, depression, the impulse to self- harm, the impulse to commit suicide, anxiety, social dysfunction, body dysmorphia, stress, anger, violent rage and hypochondria — suddenly comes back into focus the second you stop. 

“I started drinking when I was 13. I was drinking every day by the time I was 15. Then I stayed constantly drunk until I was 37. When I stopped I had no idea what I would be like as an adult.

“Picture a reservoir surrounded by mountains. You have been tasked with draining the massive body of water away to repopulate the area. But once the water has gone you are faced with the former town that was initially flooded and the now wrecked buildings which need to be pulled down. Call several construction firms. People have been fly tipping here for years. There is tons of rubbish here. You will need help to clean the area up. There are corpses wrapped in carpet and chains. It was the ideal place to dump bodies. You’ll need to call the police and the coroner’s office. The press are on their way. 

There are rotten and half eaten animal carcasses that need to be cleared up and disposed of. Environmental health need to be involved.You have never seen so many mangled shopping trollies, broken children’s bikes and unwanted cars.The clearance job will be massive. There are burst canisters of toxic waste that have long since leached into the ground. It will be years before you can do anything with this land. The water was merely the stuff that was making this area look picturesque. What you have left in its place is an area of outstanding natural horror. It probably feels like you should have left well enough alone.” 

For more details contact John Doran John@theQuietus.com or Mark Pilkington mark@strangeattractor.co.uk

Support from performance poet and comedian Louise Taylor: "You Can't Cook a Poem Like an Egg!". More info at www.shoutthesun.co.uk.