About Polly Barton
Polly Barton is a Japanese literary translator. Her translations include Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, and Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki. She won the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for Fifty Sounds. In Fifty Sounds Polly Barton attempts to exhaust her obsession with the country she moved to at the age of 21, before eventually becoming a literary translator. From min-min, the sound of air screaming, to jin-jin, the sound of being touched for the very first time, from hi’sori, the sound of harbouring masochist tendencies, to mote-mote, the sound of becoming a small-town movie star, Fifty Sounds is a personal dictionary of the Japanese language, recounting her life as an outsider in Japan. Irreverent, humane, witty and wise, Fifty Sounds is an exceptional debut about the quietly revolutionary act of learning, speaking, and living in another language. Polly Barton lives in Bristol.
About Adam Mars-Jones
Adam Mars-Jones’ first collection of stories, Lantern Lecture, won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1982, and he appeared on Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists lists in 1983 and 1993. His debut novel, The Waters of Thirst, was published in 1993 by Faber & Faber. It was followed by Pilcrow (2008) and Cedilla (2011), which form the first two parts of a semi infinite novel series. He writes book reviews for the LRB and film reviews for the TLS. His most recent books, Box Hill (2020) and Batlava Lake (2021) were published by Fitzcarraldo Editions. Exploring masculinity, class and identity, Batlava Lake is a brilliant story of men and war by one of Britain’s most accomplished writers. Pristina, Kosovo, 1999. Barry Ashton, recently divorced, has been deployed as a civil engineer attached to the Royal Engineers corps in the British Army. In an extraordinary feat of ventriloquism, Adam Mars-Jones constructs a literary story with a thoroughly unliterary narrator, and a narrative that is anything but comic through the medium of a character who, essentially, is.
About Alice Hattrick
Alice Hattrick’s criticism and interviews have appeared in publications such as frieze magazine, ArtReview and The White Review. They are the co-producer of Access Docs for Artists, a resource for disabled and/or chronically ill artists, curators and writers, made in collaboration with artists Leah Clements and Lizzy Rose. In 1995 Alice’s mother collapsed with pneumonia. She never fully recovered and was eventually diagnosed with ME, or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Then Alice got ill. Their symptoms mirrored their mother’s and appeared to have no physical cause; they received the same diagnosis a few years later. Ill Feelings blends memoir, medical history, biography and literary non-fiction to uncover both of their case histories, and branches out into the records of ill health that women have written about in diaries and letters. Their cast of characters includes Virginia Woolf and Alice James, the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Emily Dickinson, John Ruskin’s lost love Rose la Touche, the artist Louise Bourgeois and the nurse Florence Nightingale. Suffused with a generative, transcendent rage, Alice Hattrick’s genre-bending debut is a moving and defiant exploration of life with a medically unexplained illness.
About Vanessa Onwuemezi
Vanessa Onwuemezi is a writer and poet living in London. Her work has appeared in Prototype, frieze and Five Dials. Her story ‘At the Heart of Things’ won the The White Review Short Story Prize 2019. In her brilliantly inventive debut collection, Vanessa Onwuemezi takes readers on a surreal and haunting journey through a landscape on the edge of time. At the border with another world, a line of people wait for the gates to open; on the floor of a lonely room, a Born Winner runs through his life’s achievements and losses; in a suburban garden, a man witnesses a murder that pushes him out into the community. Struggling to realize the human ideals of love and freedom, the characters of Dark Neighbourhood roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame. With a detached eye and hallucinatory vision, they observe their own worlds as the line between dream and reality dissolves and they themselves begin to fragment. Electrifying and heady, and written with a masterful lyrical precision, Dark Neighbourhood heralds the arrival of a strikingly original new voice in fiction.