Thursday 16 February 2017

Featured publisher: CB Editions

CB Editions have published some of my favourite books of the last several years, so I feel somewhat bereft to learn that Charles Boyle, who runs the press entirely by himself, is 'retiring' and not taking on any new titles. {Thomas}

Make a reading discovery with any one of this selection from our shelves (click through for our reviews (and more)):

Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine, Fine by Diane Williams
Diane Williams’ short, energetic, hugely disorienting short stories pass as sal volatile through the fug of relationships, defamiliarising the ordinary elements of everyday lives to expose the sad, ludicrous, hopeless topographies of what passes for existence. So much is left unsaid in these stories that they act as foci for the immense unseen weight of their contexts, precisely activating pressure-points on the reader’s sensibilities. These are some of the finest stories you will read.

This is the Place to Be by Lara Pawson
What do you report when you become uncertain of the facts, of the notion of truth and of the purpose of writing? By constantly looking outwards, Pawson has conjured a portrait of the person who looks outwards, and a remarkable depiction of the act of looking outwards.

Mildew by Paulette Jonguitud
Despite the great psychological weight carried in this book it is written very lightly and directly, with a sharp pen and not a wasted word, and the damp claustrophobia of the narrator’s mind is perfectly expressed, as is the release she (sort of) experiences as the mould or fungus becomes a symptom and externalises whatever it is that it is a symptom of.

Eve Out of her Ruins by Ananda Devi  (published with Les Fugitives)
"Eve out of Her Ruins is a spare, traumatic and enriching novel, a rich and subtle depiction of young lives that are being lived under, and in some instances contributing to, terrible social, cultural and economic duress. Devi confronts us with instances of great pain and suffering, yet seldom without  embracing the redemptive qualities of attentiveness, spirit, beauty. This is a novel that can take you to fathomless depths. Its artistry is such that you are unlikely to close it feeling ruined." - The National

by the same author by Jack Robinson
This is a book about what books are, how they touch upon our lives and how our lives touch upon them (and upon each other because of them). The book is charming without being cloying, joyful whilst remaining critical, brief yet universal, profound yet light, pellucid whilst wary of the devotion we direct towards these portable vectors of something made by a stranger yet somehow integral to ourselves.

Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan
The eleven stories in this book seem preoccupied with ‘the body problem’, which is not a problem but a number of interrelating problems or potentials clustered around the disjunction between the kinds of relationships had by bodies and the kinds of relationships had by their correlated minds. Minds and bodies are subject here to differing momentums, and one bears the other away before the two can coalesce. Tan is concerned also with the interchangeability of persons, and with the contortion of persons, physically or psychologically, that enables this interchangeability. The stories have a raw elegance and precision and are full of intense and sometimes surprising images which give them a very realistic texture.

Only Joking by Gabriel Josipovici
"Only Joking has the light heart which can be revealed at the further end of a literary career. The great success of Josipovici’s technique here is that not only is the effect like that of watching something between an Ealing comedy and a very sparky and accessible French nouvelle vague film, but it also sharpens our own responses to the layers of deceit going on. Frivolous or not, it is a complete pleasure." – Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 

The 5 Simple Machines by Todd McEwen
"The stories in this book offer a rare kind of humour: it is not only a matter of verbal deftness – a word, or a comma, popping up unexpectedly – but of intelligence, lightly applied. These stories manage to be unflaggingly funny, yet never wearisome: the tonal control is complete. And the deeper message is that laughter is a cure." – Nicholas Lezard, Guardian 

Killing Auntie, And other work by Andrzej Bursa
"Dead at 25 in 1957, the Polish postwar firebrand Andrzej Bursa acquired a reputation as a quick-burning, existentially tormented rebel: a literary James Dean of the Stalinist era. This selection of his quirky, darkly witty work does indeed summon the shades of Beckett or Kafka from time to time. Everyday life slips into scenes of fantasy or horror, yet Bursa’s dark humour and deadpan satire keep utter bleakness at bay. Some will think of Dostoyevsky when it comes to the snuffed-out relative in the novella; read to the end and you hear something like Joe Orton’s wicked cackle too." – Boyd Tonkin, Independent 

Visit the CB Editions website.

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