Welcome back to another edition of Make Mine an Indie, this week featuring the publishers of one of my all time favourite authors, Scarlett Thomas.
Canongate was established in 1973 and has pretty much been successful and independent since then, with a brief hiccup around 1994. The publish a wide range of things with an emphasis on the international and nurturing new talent from around the world. They are also one of the founding members of the Independent Alliance, which also includes Faber & Faber and Icon among other publishers.
At first I found Canongate's website slightly scary as it's set up in a totally non-traditional and unexpected way, but after a while browsing it I think I'm in love! I've been signed up to their newsletter for a while now and honestly while on my book buying ban I try to avoid reading it because I know that I'll immediately want to read everything mentioned... Besides Scarlett Thomas's work I've also read a few of their other titles and can say they're probably one of my favourite publishers.
On that note, some books I'm particularly excited to read:
Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig
From the Canongate website:
Aged 24, Matt Haig's world caved in. He could see no way to go on living. This is the true story of how he came through crisis, triumphed over an illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again.
A moving, funny and joyous exploration of how to live better, love better and feel more alive, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth.
You probably don't need me to tell you about Matt Haig, particularly if you're on twitter and a fan of people saying sensible things. People who have read this book say that it's immense and I'd really like to read it.
The Lonely City by Olivia Laing
From Olivia Laing's website
What does it mean to be lonely? How do we live, if we’re not intimately engaged with another human being? How do we connect with other people? Does technology draw us closer together or trap us behind screens?
When Olivia Laing moved to New York City in her mid-thirties, she found herself inhabiting loneliness on a daily basis. Increasingly fascinated by this most shameful of experiences, she began to explore the lonely city by way of art. Moving fluidly between works and lives – from Edward Hopper's Nighthawks to Andy Warhol's Time Capsules, from Henry Darger's hoarding to the depredations of the AIDS crisis – Laing conducts an electric, dazzling investigation into what it means to be alone.
Humane, provocative and deeply moving, The Lonely City is a celebration of a strange and lovely state, adrift from the larger continent of human experience, but intrinsic to the very act of being alive.
This sounds really really intriguing and just entirely like something I want to read as soon as possible! Not out until March 2016 though.
Get in Trouble by Kelly Link
From the Canongate website:
Fantastic, fantastical and utterly incomparable, Kelly Link's new collection explores everything from the essence of ghosts to the nature of love. And hurricanes, astronauts, evil twins, bootleggers, Ouija boards, iguanas, The Wizard of Oz, superheroes, the pyramids . . .
With each story she weaves, Link takes readers deep into an unforgettable, brilliantly constructed universe. Strange, dark and wry, Get in Trouble reveals Kelly Link at the height of her creative powers and stretches the boundaries of what fiction can do.
I have another of Kelly Link's collections and have read several of her short stories in other collections and loved them. Also I definitely don't read enough short stories!
The Outrun by Amy Liptrot
There isn't yet a description for this other than in Canongate's 2016 catalogue but it sounds like a fascinating blend of memoir and nature writing, and as you'll know if you've been around these parts for a while, I'm all about something that has to do with the healing power of the sea!
Published by Canongate that I've already read and you should get hold of asap: Going Out, Popco, The End of Mr Y, Our Tragic Universe, Monkeys with Typewriters, The Seed Collectors by Scarlett Thomas, The Edible Atlas by Mina Holland, and the entire Canongate Myths series.
God I love Canongate! Find them on their website, twitter and facebook.
Catch up on the rest of the Make Mine an Indie series here, and if you have a favourite publisher you'd love to see featured please let me know!