The Book of Liverpool
A CITY IN SHORT FICTION
Ed. Maria Crossan & Eleanor Rees
Introduction by Eleanor Rees
1905583095 | 978-1905583096
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Beryl Bainbridge, Brian Patten, Clive Barker, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Ramsey Campbell, Paul Farley, Margaret Murphy, Dinesh Allirajah, James Friel, and Tracy Aston.
A baby blown out of an upstairs window by a WWII bomb lives to hear others tell the tale…
A woman embarks on a long-term obsession with a city landmark, abandoning her lover for the Liver…
A bricklayer working on the foundations of a never-built cathedral becomes its evangelist, its full splendour soaring only in his mind…
Bringing together fiction from some of the city’s most celebrated writers, The Book of Liverpool traces the unique contours that decades of social and economic change can impress on a city. Set against key historical moments from the Second World War to the Capital of Culture year, these stories question what ‘belonging’ and ‘home’ mean in the Liverpudlian context, from the regenerated city centre to satellite suburbs, from the sparring cathedrals to the no-go concrete housing estates. Liverpool emerges in these short stories as a city in constant flux: haunted by ghosts, buoyed up by myths, and shifting with an ebb and flow like the Mersey itself.
"A literary gem that will share a niche in my library with M.R. James and E. F. Benson..."
- Metapsychology online Read review.
"Words thrive here, carried on the saline breeze of the Mersey and twisted round agile tongues into sentences as resilient as the sandstone blocks in the Town Hall walls..."
- The Liverpool Daily Post, 11 Jul 08 Read review.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Dinesh Allirajah is a founder of the North West writing group 'Asian Voices, Asian Lives'. He has performed at venues all over Europe and his short story collection A Manner of Speaking is now out from Spike Books.
Tracy Aston’s work includes six plays for BBC Radio 4, and numerous plays for the Unity Theatre, Liverpool, including two Christmas shows. For the past 11 years, she has been involved in many community writing, playmaking and reminiscence projects, for people with mental health problems, survivors of abuse, elders, children with disabilities, residents of HMP Liverpool and aspiring writers of all ages. She would like to acknowledge the elders in Halewood who contributed their stories to The Childhood and Working Lives Project which provided the inspiration for her story.
Beryl Bainbridge has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times. Her early novels draw on experiences of growing up in Liverpool, where she was expelled from school at the age of 14 and began acting on stage at the age of 16. Her experiences in the theatre formed the basis of An Awfully Big Adventure (1989), later made into a movie starring Hugh Grant. Since the 1990s she has written several historical novels, including: The Birthday Boys (1991), about the ill-fated expedition of Robert Falcon Scott; Every Man for Himself (1996), about the wreck of the Titanic; Master Georgie (1998) about the Crimean War; and According to Queeney (2001), about the Samuel Johnson. Her other novels include Another Part of the Wood (1968), Young Adolf (1978) and Winter Garden (1980).
Clive Barker is one of the world's leading authors and directors of contemporary horror/fantasy, writing prolifically in the late 70s and throughout the 80s, mostly in the form of short stories (collected in Books of Blood 1 – 6), as well as the Faustian novel The Damnation Game (1986). Later he moved toward modern-day fantasy and urban fantasy with horror elements in Weaveworld (1987), The Great and Secret Show (1989), the world-spanning Imajica (1991) and Sacrament (1996). His film work includes 1987's Hellraiser, which he directed and adapted from his novella The Hellbound Heart. The story in this anthology 'The Forbidden' was inspiration for the 1992 blockbuster Candyman, and its two sequels.
Ramsey Campbell is described by the Oxford Companion to English Literature as 'Britain's most respected living horror writer', and in 1991 was voted the Horror Writer's Horror Writer in the Observer Magazine. He sold his first story, 'The Church in the High Street', to August Derleth in 1962. Leaving school that same year, his first collection, The Inhabitant of the Lake and less Welcome Tenants appeared from Derleth's Arkham House imprint two years later. Although his early fiction was heavily influenced by H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos (yet set in a distinctly British milieu), his subsequent books and stories have revealed him to be a unique voice in horror fiction. His numerous novels include the award-winning The Face That Must Die, and Incarnate, and most recently Thieving Fear (PS Publishing) and The Grin of the Dark (Virgin Paperbacks).
Frank Cottrell Boyce is a novelist and screenwriter. His film credits include Welcome to Sarajevo, Hilary and Jackie, 24 Hour Party People and A Cock and Bull Story. In 2004, his debut novel Millions won the Carnegie Medal and was shortlisted for The Guardian Children's Fiction Award. His second novel, Framed, was published by Macmillan in 2005.
Paul Farley studied at the Chelsea School of Art and has lived in London, Brighton, Cumbria and Lancashire. His work has been widely anthologised in collections such as New British Poetry, Being Alive, Poems on the Underground, 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem and Poem for the Day. Paul has had two collections published by Picador, The Boy from the Chemist is Here to See You, and The Ice Age. A new poetry collection, Tramp in Flames, and a BFI Modern Classic (Distant Voices, Still Lives) are published this year.
James Friel's novels include Left of North, Taking the Veil, Careless Talk, and A Higher Realm. He has won the Betty Trask Prize and lectures at LJM.
Margaret Murphy is the author of eight critically acclaimed psychological crime novels. Her first, Goodnight My Angel, was shortlisted for the First Blood award for debut crime fiction. She is a member of the Society of Authors, the Crime Writers' Association and a founder member of Murder Squad, a touring collective of crime writers. Winner of the year 2000 CWA Leo Harris award, she reviews crime fiction and regularly writes articles for Crime Time, as well as being a contributor to Radio 4's The Message.
Brian Patten made his name in the 1960s as one of the Liverpool Poets, alongside Adrian Henri and Roger McGough, with the publication of the ground-breaking anthology, The Mersey Sound (1967). His own collections include Little Johnny's Confession (1967), Vanishing Trick (1976), Love Poems (1981), Storm Damage (1988), and Armada (1996). He is a popular broadcaster, and editor and is author of several best-selling poetry collections for children, most famously Gargling with Jelly: A Collection of Poems (1985) and Juggling with Gerbils (2000). This is his first short story.
Also available from Liverpool Liverpool Stories 1.
Also available in the Book of the City series The Book of Leeds.
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