Protest: Stories of Resistance
By Sara Maitland, Frank Cottrell Boyce, Stuart Evers, Kit de Waal, David Constantine, Francesca Rhydderch, Jacob Ross, Martyn Bedford, Michelle Green, Kate Clanchy, Alexei Sayle, Laura Hird, Courttia Newland, Juliet Jacques, Maggie Gee, Matthew Holness, Sandra Alland

For a nation that brought the world Chartism, the Suffragettes, the Tolpuddle Martyrs, and so many other grassroots social movements, Britain rarely celebrates its long, great tradition of people power. In this timely and evocative collection, twenty authors have assembled to re-imagine key moments of British protest, from the Peasants Revolt of 1381 to the anti-Iraq War demo of 2003. 

Refugee Tales
By Ali Smith, Marina Lewycka, David Herd, Chris Cleave, Jade Amoli-Jackson, Patience Agbabi, Inua Ellams, Stephen Collis, Michael Zand, Dragan Todorovic, Avaes Mohammad, Abdulrazak Gurnah

Poets and novelists retell the stories of individuals who have direct experience of Britain s policy of indefinite immigration detention. Presenting their experiences anonymously, as modern day counterparts to the pilgrims stories in Chaucers Canterbury Tales, this book offers rare, intimate glimpses into otherwise untold suffering.

Iraq+100: Stories from a century after the invasion
By Hassan Blasim, Khalid Kaki, Diaa Jubaili, Zhraa Alhaboby, Ali Bader, Hassan Abdulrazzak, Ibrahim al-Marashi, Mortada Gzar, Anoud, Jalal Hasan

Iraq + 100 poses a question to ten Iraqi writers: what might your country look like in the year 2103 a century after the disastrous American- and British-led invasion, and 87 years down the line from its current, nightmarish battle for survival? How might the effects of that one intervention reach across a century of repercussions, and shape the lives of ordinary Iraqi citizens, or influence its economy, culture, or politics?

Manchester based independent publisher Comma Press aims to put the short story at the heart of contemporary narrative culture. Through innovative commissions, collaborations and digital initiatives, we explore the power of the short story to transcend cultural and disciplinary boundaries, whilst introducing our readers to cutting-edge (often underrepresented) voices from across the world.

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M. John Harrison is a cartographer of the liminal. His work sits at the boundaries between genres horror and science fiction, fantasy and travel writing just as his characters occupy the no man s land between the spatial and the spiritual. Here, in his first collection of short fiction for over 15 years, we see the master of the New Wave present unsettling visions of contemporary urban Britain, as well as supernatural parodies of the wider, political landscape.

The Book of Khartoum: A City in Short Fiction (Reading the City)
By Ali al-Makk, Ahmed al-Malik, Isa al-Hilu, Arthur Gabriel Yak, Bawadir Bashir, Rania Mamoun, Bushra al-Fadil, Mamoun Eltlib, Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin, Hammour Ziada

In the first major anthology of Sudanese stories to be translated into English the city also stands as a meeting place for ideas: where the promise and glamour of the big city meets its tough social realities; where traces of a colonial past are still visible  Diverse literary styles come together here: the political satire of Ahmed al-Malik; the surrealist poetics of Bushra al-Fadil; the social realism of the first postcolonial authors; and the lyrical abstraction of the new Iksir generation. As with any great city, it is from these complex tensions that the best stories begin.

The stories of David Constantine are unlike any others. His characters possess you instantly, making you see the world as they do sometimes as exiles, driven into isolation by convictions that even they don t fully understand; sometimes as carriers of an unspoken but unbearable weight. The things they pursue, or evade, are often unseen and at a distance like the perfectly preserved body of a woman in the title story, waiting to be discovered in the receding ice of a Swiss glacier. These tokens of the past, or future, haunt Constantine s characters, but the landscapes that produce them also offer salvation, places of refuge or small treasures to take solace in like the piece of driftwood a beachcomber chooses to carve into his idea of perfection.

Swallow Summer
By Larissa Boehning, Translated by Lyn Marven

Each character in Larissa Boehning's debut collection experiences a moment where they re forced to confront how differently things turned out, how quickly ambitions were shelved, or how easily people change. Former colleagues meet up to reminisce about the failed agency they used to work for; brothers-in-law find themselves co-habiting long after the one person they had in common passed away; fellow performers watch as their careers slowly drift in opposite directions. Boehning's stories offer a rich store of metaphors for this abandonment: the downed tools of a deserted East German factory, lying exactly where they were dropped the day Communism fell; the old, collected cameras of a late father that seem to stare, wide-eyed, at the world he left behind.

Author Q&As and blogs

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