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Spring 2021 Crazy Times… Crazy Books

14 January 2021

Crazy Times… Crazy Books

“I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore!”

No, we’re not about to release a graphic novel of the 1976 film Network in which Peter Finch, as the news anchor Howard Beale, gets mad – and goes madder – live on air, but the sentiment of his famous rant is a theme that runs through almost all of our Spring 2021 releases. So if you’re feeling as mad as a March hare during this pandemic, why not let our own crazy offerings reassure you that you’re not alone? Let’s start with love…

“In the Spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love” – but this April Fool’s Day, how about exploring its seamier, darker, twisted underbelly? I Feel Love, the brainchild (if not the love child) of Julian Hanshaw and Krent Able, offers a much-needed antidote to everything that is sweet, cloying, and conventional.

Also in April, prepare to get suitably surreal. Salvador Dalí may have once announced, “I am surrealism,” but let’s not forget he arrived slightly late at the party, and that some of his most memorable work for the movement was done in close collaboration with the filmmaker Luis Buñuel. Buñuel: In the Labyrinth of the Turtles by Fermín Solís, zooms in on a period in Buñuel’s life when he gravitated from surrealism towards a more socially responsible form of cinema.

From the surreal to the truly bizarre, The Dancing Plague by Gareth Brookes tells the true story of the hundreds of inhabitants of 16th-century Strasbourg who were suddenly seized by “choreomania” – in other words the strange and unstoppable compulsion to dance. Or perhaps after so many months of lockdown, such a need doesn’t sound too fantastic…

Publishing in May, what could be timelier in our age of state intervention and “tracker-systems” than a biography of the great novelist and political essayist George Orwell, whose vision of Big Brother in 1984 pre-dates our own by over 70 years. In Orwell, Pierre Christin and Sébastian Verdier explore the life of a prophet of oppression – and champion of freedom.

If you’re not already on the psychoanalyst’s couch, then try reading Frink and Freud by Pierre Péju and Lionel Richerand. Two divorces, three deaths, and the ménage à quatre that came close to destroying Freud’s reputation might be enough to have you shouting “I’m mad as hell!”…

But let’s lead and leave on the front foot. Our June release is Knock Out! by Reinhard Kleist. This biography tells the true story of American welterweight boxer Emile Griffith, who, from delivery boy to hat designer to middleweight champion, gained notoriety in 1962 after a knock-out blow to his opponent, Benny Paret. A powerful, emotive portrait of a bisexual Black athlete who, battling racism and homophobia in 1960s America, became one of the most iconic boxing champions of all time.

Seconds out… And that’s it for now, folks…
We miss you like crazy and wish you well in these mad times.

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