|Dimensions||199 × 131 × 18 mm|
Five Leaves Publications
It is summer…a heat wave…tense, uneasy days in the city. There are ominous signs of political turbulence in the dying years of the twentieth century. Welfare benefits are under attack, but women are fighting back, using unorthodox weapons. Lynn Byers does not accept the government’s demand for a return to ‘womanly duties’. As desperate politicians use increasingly savage methods of control, she can no longer stand aside to watch. A classic of women’s fiction.
First published in 1979 by Virago, Benefits is a feminist dystopia in which a patriarchal state uses the social security system to impose repressive lifestyles on women. It was nominated for the Philip K Dick Award for science fiction, and the Hawthornden Prize for imaginative literature. It has been published throughout the world, and adapted for the stage at the Albany Empire in Deptford, London.
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When award-winning journalist Marcus Murray’s latest story involves a corrupt alliance between a UK bank, the arms trade and the government, it seems he has triumphed again in his quest for the truth. But he is accused of fabrication and nothing in his life makes sense any more, including the disappearance twenty years ago of his best friend, Melanie. Why did she vanish, and who is the body recently discovered in a Kent orchard? A timeless story of how love and enduring friendship shape who we are, the novel exposes the fault lines in our own reality and who and what we believe to be true, including ourselves.
Under the intense summer sun on the Essex coast a gull falls from the sky and strikes an unassuming local council worker sitting on the beach below. From that moment on he is obsessed, a crazed visionary repeatedly depicting the scene and the unknown figure within it who filled his view at the moment of impact. The mysterious beauty of his creations draw others to him, but can they lay hold of that which possesses him? And what of his anonymous muse? MAN WITH A SEAGULL ON HIS HEAD is an insightful exploration of art, love and creativity. We follow Ray Eccles and his unlikely muse, their lives becoming intertwined with others as they advance on their bizarre journey through the London art scene. We meet Grace Zoob, an insecure heiress in search of meaning, validation and love; Amanda Parsons, an ambitious girl from the suburbs who suspects there’s more to life than marriage and children but finds herself consumed by both; and Grace’s daughter, Mira, a beautiful, damaged young woman. Five very different lives, linked by a common thread, for all have experienced the true and extraordinary beauty of life, bursting through the veil of daily existence, only to disappear again before it can be fully grasped.
This is a book that lives in two parts – one set in the Ottoman empire of the 16th century, and the other in our own 21st century reality. Here we have the story of two friends, both taken as children from their homes and inducted into the Turkish Sultan’s private guard: Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, the Serbian shepherd boy who rose to the position of Grand Vizier and Koca Mimar Sinan, the ‘Michelangelo of the East’. Between them they represent both destruction and creation, while at the same time providing us with a harrowing insight into the heart of religion and identity. Back in our own time, we hear the voice of the author, sharing with us his experiences in the modern world, and his musings on faith, identity and nation. This is a truly ambitious book that rewards the reader with insights into some of the great questions of our time.
Travels with Chinaski is the lonely lurch into lunacy, anarchy, the drunken fall into disassociation, the paralytic collapse into alienation – the utter, utter headlong, bar-storming leap into the liberation of madness. Chinaski: the freedom, the fuck death, to fuck your only friend’s girl, to fuck over rat-infested bed-sit-land, to fuck your kidneys, your liver, your numerous court appearances and then to fucking care about your beautiful beat-up neighbour as she cries in the night. Chinaski walks into your life, side-stepping last night’s cold sick on the floor, he kicks you out of bed, he’s back from the dead and he is going to make you dance, rage and drink with sheer life. Chinaski is there for you like a hangover that’s moved in to stay.
Madness Can Set You Free
“Daithidh MacEochaidh’s words are delightfully wordy, swimming in the deep end of the language baths… I’m rereading Kerouac for ‘The Big Read’, and it seems to me that MacEochaidh shares some of his linguistic exuberance. More power to him!” – Ian McMillan
“Prose as raw as a manhir, designed to skin your knuckles” – Dai Vaughan
THE LESS THAN PERFECT LEGEND OF DONNA CREOSOTE is a modern fairy tale from the inner city, where the mundane becomes fantastical and the everyday ethereal, but where living happily ever after is often easier read than done. Donna Crick-Oakley walks on six inches of stories every day. She may live on the top floor of a tower block but she still pads her walls and floor with books to shut the real world further out. Or do they only shut her in? Armed with her myths and medieval adventures, Donna sets out to escape her isolation and change her home town to better suit her dreams.