Our February 2013 enewsletter contains updates on news, events, book

launches and special offers from Parthian Books.
Parthian Books February 2013

Book of the Month: The Likes of Us by Stan Barstow 

We have some exciting books to present to you this month. The Likes Of Us, a collection of the best stories written by Stan Barstow, is our February 2013 Book of the Month. Along with Alan Sillitoe and John Braine, Barstow is considered one of the pioneers of the 1960s school of northern literary realism. The Guardian compares him to D.H Lawrence and The Times describes him as a “master storyteller”.
"Stan Barstow’s stories... have what is so rare in a successful writer — a kind of primary vision, a feeling for characters, the mileux he originally knew and might have grown away from. He speaks for urban provincial life with piercing vividness; for a particular outlook and mortality that few other writers touch..." Financial Times
His best-known work is the novel A Kind Of Loving, which became a film directed by John Schlesinger, but he also wrote some short stories. His best are gathered in the collection The Likes of Us, now available in ebook and paperback formats. Painting a full portrait of the last five decades of British life, these stories allow us to discover the deepest thoughts of ordinary characters. With a light and entertaining writing style infused with dialect, Stan Barstow managed to highlight one common feeling for each story: for instance, disappointment in The Actor, jealousy in The End of an Old Song, or sadness in One Of The Virtues

Buy The Likes of Us from the Parthian online bookshop for £11.99

Written by Marine Lejeune 

Parthian Appoints Two New Editors: Susie Wild and Alan Kellermann

Two editors will be joining the Parthian editorial team in the new financial year. Editor and writer Susie Wild has extended her role to general editor with Parthian and is currently working on a list which includes sparkling new fiction debuts by Craig Hawes, Dan Tyte and Carly Holmes. She is also the editor of an innovative range of memoirs which starts with Dorothy Al Khafaji’s Between Two Rivers, an honest, funny and moving story of Baghdad life from the perspective of a young woman from England, transplanted into another culture by love and family, and then in 2014 by Michael Oliver’s innovative Sunbathing in Siberia: A Marriage of East and West in Post Soviet Russia

Carly Homes: 

Michael Oliver: 

Dan Tyte:

The cover for Craig Hawes' 2013 short story collection:

Susie cut her journalism teeth at the Guardian, returning to Wales in 2004 where she edited Swansea's art magazine Platform for four years. She has since contributed content to numerous publications including Mslexia, Metro, ClickonWales, the BBC, Planet, New Welsh Review, Cambria and Red Handed, and is a regional reviewer for The Stage. A published writer and regular live lit performer, Susie is one of Parthian's original set of Bright Young Things. The Art of Contraception (2010) was her first book and was long-listed for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize 2011. She is also the hostess of literary salons in Cardiff and Swansea, literary programmer of Do Not Go Gentle Festival 2013 and a co-organiser of xx women’s writing festival.

On the poetry side Alan Kellermann has accepted the role of Parthian’s poetry editor and will be working on new collections and a series of chap books for 2014. Alan is an American who has lived in Swansea for some years while writing and studying. His own collection You, Me and the Birds is reviewed in the current edition of Planet magazine.

Ebook of the Month: This September Sun by Bryony Rheam


February’s ebook of the month is This September Sun. Published by Parthian in 2012, it is now available in ebook format from all good online stores a new chance to discover the book or read it again.
Originally published in Zimbabwe by amaBooks, This September Sun is a moving story about deception, family secrets and, above all, love; following the lives of Ellie, a shy girl growing up in post-Independence Zimbabwe, and her grandmother, whose secret affair with a married man is discovered in her old diaries. With this revelation, Ellie must reconsider her relationship with her grandmother and face up to some truths about herself.
In This September Sun, Bryony Rheam addresses the political and social situation of White Zimbabwe from the 1940s to the present day, addressing current affairs relating to Mugabe’s rule and the history of what once was Rhodesia. She knows Zimbabwe’s history well because she was born in Kadoma and lived in Bulawayo from the age of eight until she left school. She studied for a BA and an MA in English Literature and taught in Singapore for a year before returning to teach in Zimbabwe from 2001 to 2008. Still a teacher, she now lives in Ndola, Zambia.
Since publication, the book has met some success in Zimbabwe and in the UK. It received the Best First Book Award at the 2010 Zimbabwe International Book Fair and has garnered many good reviews including ones from the African book-reviewing blog Bookshy, which award it 5/5, and from New Welsh Review.

It's not possible to buy ebooks direct from the Parthian website, but kindle and epub files can be easily located online from a variety of retailers, including Amazon, Waterstones, Gwales, Apple, and many others.

Written by Marine Lejeune 

Coming Soon: Say Goodbye to the Boys

A serial killer is on the loose in a sleepy, Welsh seaside town, picking off victims like some people pick cockles...
Say Goodbye to the Boys is both a dark comedy and a quick-witted thriller and will be published this March. The action takes place in a sleepy Welsh seaside town. Three ex-servicemen, Marshall, Philip and Emlyn, have come back home and want to enjoy their life and forget all about the war. They share the favours of Lilian Ridetski, who runs more than a high class hair salon in the town, not knowing that when she and others are found brutally strangled, suspicion will fall on all of her customers. The three boys decide to find out for themselves who is the serial killer.

Say Goodbye to the Boys is the first novel written by Mari Stead Jones and based on notes she discovered in a wooden box belonging to her author father, Stead Jones (Make Room for the Jester, published in the Library of Wales collection). It proves that writing is a gift one can inherit, and introduces Mari as a comic writer of the first order. 

Mari found herself drawn into the stories, and began to wonder whether other readers may also enjoy their humor. She says, ‘I picked up his notes for Say Goodbye to the Boys. And that was it; I was sold on the story. The characters and the plot made a great impression on me.
‘I felt the language and the structure needed updating – it needed, in my humble opinion, work. I loved every minute of the labour, though – it was no hardship. For me it was like being with someone again, who you have missed so terribly that your heart felt it would never recover and all of a sudden your heart feels full and sound and whole again. Truly cathartic.’

Read more about this title on the Parthian Blog.

Order Say Goodbye to the Boys from the Parthian online bookshop for £8.99. Also available as an ebook from all good online retailers.

Written by Marine Lejeune 

Magma Poetry Mesmerised by Other Harbours

If the poetry collection is a museum, then 'Anna Lewis is an excellent curator — careful, methodical, a cleaner and labeller of strange things.'

So says Claire Crowther in Issue 55 of Magma Poetry, likening the role of poet to that of an archivist of buried places and lost stories and pulling out 'Lesson', 'The Catch', and 'Everything You Knew' for closer comment.
Anna Lewis's startling first collection Other Harbours is populated with characters who move through the liminal space between departure and arrival. Soldiers kill time on street corners, an ageing emperor searches for immortality; ignored wives of medieval legend rub shoulders with modern-day migrant workers – people far from their origins and further still from their destinations.
Enjoying the force of Anna's quiet voice, and ability to 'conjure menace out of slivers', Claire notes that 'Lewis delivers her poems cool to readers, which can be mesmerising' so long as readers don't mind the 'museum hush' of the collection.
You can watch Anna Lewis reading 'Penelope' here.

Buy Other Harbours from the Parthian online Bookshop for £7.99.

Nihilists, Ecdysiasts and Poets for Planet 209

"The representation of Wales that MTV gives us is a strange and noxious cocktail… old-fashioned and over-romanticised… coupled with the implication that anyone under thirty is a drink fuelled nihilist." (Rachel Trezise)

Author Rachel Trezise slams MTV’s The Valleys in a scorching erudite demolition of the television travesty in the new issue of Planet magazine.
Also featuring, in a sparkling edition edited by Emily Trahair, is fascinating and revelatory insight into the burgeoning late-night neo-burlesque scene of Swansea by writer, editor and performance artist Claire Houguez with Queen of the Blue Stocking Lounge.
In the review section there are in depth assessments of Alan Kellerman’s You, Me and the Birds (“compelling” David Lloyd, Planet) and Anna Lewis’s Other Harbours  (“Without unnecessary noise here is a poet who has carved out a distinct and highly accomplished poetic idiom, a talent to watch out for.” Nicholas Murray, Planet).

Cynan Jones on the Sunday Times shortlist

Congratulations to Cynan Jones who has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Short Story Award for 'The Dig'. This competition is organized each year by the newspaper to reward the writers of short story with the first prize of £30,000.
The shortlist includes the Booker prize-nominated Ali Smith and Sarah Hall; the Pulitzer prizewinner Junot Diaz; Mark Haddon, author of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time; the British novelist Toby Litt; and the Welsh author Cynan Jones. The winner will be announced at The Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival on March 22.
'The Dig' is also to be published, in novel form, by Granta in 2014. Jones' novel is about badgers' extermination by decree and by baiting, from the viewpoint of a awkward teenager who doesn't really know what to think about it.  
Buy The Long Dry by Cynan Jones for £6.99 from the Parthian online bookshop. Also available on ebook from all good outlets.
Buy Everything I Found on the Beach by Cynan Jones for £7.99 from the Parthian online bookshop.  Also available on ebook from all good outlets.

Beginning Your Book: Fiction and Autobiography

(Extended Course – for Women) with Patricia Duncker and Janet Thomas   
Monday 6 – Saturday 11 May

Guest: Francesca Rhydderch

This course is supported by Honno.

Are you beginning to write a book? This course is for writers embarking on a full-length book project: fiction in all genres, for adults or children, autobiography, memoir or travel. Have you completed a substantial section of your book? Or are you still working on your first draft? Are you trying to revise a more polished version and have you run into problems? Do you have a plan that isn’t working?  Are you stuck? We are here to help you with genre, structure, plot, point of view, organisation and advice on how to keep going.

To apply for the course, or for more details contact Tŷ Newydd on 01766 522811

In Brief

In This Issue

Book of the Month:

The Likes of Us

New Editors Join the Parthian Team:

Susie Wild & Alan Kellermann

Ebook of the Month:

This September Sun

Coming Soon:

Say Goodbye to the Boys

Magma Poetry 55:

Other Harbours

Planet 209:

Rachel Trezise
Claire Houguez
Alan Kellermann
Anna Lewis

Sunday Times Short Story Prize:

Cynan Jones shortlisted

Beginning Your Book:

Fiction & Autobiography

In Brief:

Gower's Reading Challenge
Dan Rhodes on Rhapsody
Nigel Jarrett interview
St Fagans' Book Group

Win Books!

Fancy having a go at reviewing an ebook? Email a 100-500 word review of a Parthian ebook to

The best reviews will be selected for display on the Parthian website and one review per month will be chosen to win free copies of our recent print titles!

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