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28 November 2022
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
All ages welcome
£3 (or free when purchasing either book)
About the books:
Hammer – Joe Mungo Reed
An art auction house employee helps a Russian oligarch sell his prized collection, ensnaring himself in a dangerous romance and an even more treacherous political plot.
It’s 2013, and much of the world still reels from the global economic collapse. Yet in the auction rooms of London, artworks are selling for record-breaking prices. Seeking a place in this gilded world is Martin, a junior specialist at a prestigious auction house. Martin spends his days catering to the whims of obscenely wealthy clients and his nights drinking in grubby pubs with his demoralized roommate. However, a chance meeting with Marina, an old university friend, presents Martin with a chance to change everything.
Pursuing distraction from her failing marriage and from a career she doesn’t quite believe in, Marina draws Martin into her circle and that of her husband, Oleg, an art-collecting oligarch. Shaken by the death of his mother and chafing against his diminishing influence in his homeland, Oleg appears primed to change his own life—and perhaps to relinquish his priceless art collection long coveted by London’s auction houses. Martin is determined to secure the sale and transform his career. But his ambitions are threatened by factors he hasn’t reckoned with: a dangerous attraction between himself and Marina, and half-baked political plans through which Oleg aims to redeem himself and Russia but which instead imperil the safety of the oligarch and all those around him.
Hammer is a riveting, ambitious novel—at once a sharp art world exposé, a tense geopolitical thriller, and a brooding romance—that incisively explores the intersection of wealth, power, and desire.
Come Join Our Disease – Sam Byers
The new novel from the author of Perfidious Albion-a darkly comic and profoundly affecting novel about resistance, radicalism and redemption.
Maya is homeless. When her site is razed by ruthless authorities, she’s detained. But then, Maya is given a lifeline; a chance to re-enter society again. A tech company – angling to raise its philanthropic profile – offers her a job and a flat. There’s one caveat: Maya must document her inspiring progress on Instagram to show that anyone can be productive; perfect.
Yet Maya realises that sickness is a kind of revolution. With other outcasts, Maya starts a movement: billboards promoting wellness are defaced all over London and her media feed is flooded with obscene, filthy images. Suddenly, questions arise about the forces unleashed: liberation and madness, protest and anarchy, rebellion and chaos.
About the authors:
Joe Mungo Reed was born in London and raised in Gloucestershire, England. He has a degree in philosophy and politics from the University of Edinburgh, an MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University, and a PhD in creative writing from the University of Manchester. He is the author of the novel, We Begin Our Ascent, and his short stories have appeared in VQR, the London Evening Standard, and Corriere della Sera. He is currently living in Edinburgh, UK.
Sam Byers’ writing has appeared in Granta, the New York Times and the Times Literary Supplement. His debut novel, Idiopathy, was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Prize, longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize and the winner of a Betty Trask Award. His second novel, Perfidious Albion, was longlisted for the RSL Ondaatje Prize and the Orwell Prize for Political Fiction, and shortlisted for the Encore Prize. His third novel, Come Join Our Disease, is shortlisted for the Gordon Burn Prize 2021.
Doors: 6.30, event starts: 6.45
Tickets are £3 or free when purchasing a copy of either book. HAMMER and COME JOIN OUR DISEASE will also be available to purchase on the night and Joe and Sam will be signing copies after the talk. If you would like a signed copy but cannot make the event, please contact us on 0161 274 3331 or firstname.lastname@example.org and we can arrange this for you.
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