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.
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...
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.
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...
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!
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.
We are delighted to announce that Waterstones in Piccadilly are holding an event on 18th May to mark the launch of New Cemetery, the new title we published by Simon Armitage last month. Tickets are on sale via the link below - hope to see some of you there!
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.
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
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.
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!!
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 Church, Aylsham 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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
Tommy is over from Holland doing only a few UK dates - so be sure not to miss him here!!
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.
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...
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.
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!
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!!
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!
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 (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
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
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.
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...
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
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
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
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