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Introducing our Autumn 2020 lineup

1 September 2020


This famous quotation, by the Olympic runner and Czech national hero Emil Zátopek, has struck a new chord here at SelfMadeHero. It hasn’t been an easy time for anyone during Covid-19, but the ability to go the distance, against what can often feel like futile odds, is a trait that we both admire and aspire to. It wasn’t just Zátopek’s record-beating success as an athlete, in the 1940s and ’50s, that made him a self-made hero, nor the unorthodox training methods he pioneered. It was rather (in the words of an official report) that he “completely upset all previous notions of the limits of human endurance”.

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There‘s perhaps never been a better time to feel inspired by such feats of endurance, and in our graphic biography Zátopek (October 2020) – written by the award-winning writer and documentary maker Jan Novák, and drawn by the acclaimed artist and musician Jaromír 99 – we follow in the tracks of this extraordinary Cold War Olympian.

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From sports to socialism: Robert Tressell’s 1914 masterpiece The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists finds its first – and definitive – adaptation as a sumptuously illustrated graphic novel this September. An amazing work by Sophie and Scarlett Rickard, this is the socialist novel that, according to George Orwell, “everyone should read”. An inspiration to generations of political thinkers, from Orwell to Tony Benn, this timeless and compelling work is a must-read – and now a must-see.

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September also sees the release of a book with a cute bunny on the cover. But don’t be fooled: When I Came Out tells a story every bit as courageous and beautiful as our other new titles. Danish author and artist Anne Mette Kærulf Lorentzen centres this semi-autobiographical tale on Louise, a rabbit with a big secret. As her comfortable life begins to unravel, we join Louise on a delicate, complicated, but ultimately life-affirming journey and learn what it takes for a woman in her forties to acknowledge her true identity and come out as gay.

Till soon, stay well, and always remember: UNITY IS STRENGTH!

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