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29 March 2023
6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
£3 (or free when pre-ordering the book)
About the books:
Sophie Mackintosh – CURSED BREAD
If you eat the bread, you’ll die, he said. The statement made no sense, but it filled me with an electric dread.
Elodie is the baker’s wife. A plain, unremarkable woman, ignored by her husband and underestimated by her neighbours, she burns with the secret desire to be extraordinary. One day a charismatic new couple appear in town – the ambassador and his sharp-toothed wife, Violet – and Elodie quickly falls under their spell. All summer long she stalks them through the shining streets: inviting herself into their home, eavesdropping on their coded conversations, longing to be part of their world.
Meanwhile, beneath the tranquil surface of daily life, strange things are happening. Six horses are found dead in a sun-drenched field, laid out neatly on the ground like an offering. Widows see their lost husbands walking up the moonlit river, coming back to claim them. A teenage boy throws himself into the bonfire at the midsummer feast. A dark intoxication is spreading through the town, and when Elodie finally understands her role in it, it will be too late to stop.
Audacious and mesmerising, Cursed Bread is a fevered confession, an entry into memory’s hall of mirrors, a fable of obsession and transformation. Sophie Mackintosh spins a darkly gleaming tale of a town gripped by hysteria, envy like poison in the blood, and desire that burns and consumes.
Polly Barton – PORN: AN ORAL HISTORY
How do we talk about porn? Why it is that when we do talk about porn, we tend to retreat into the abstract? How do we have meaningful conversations about it with those closest to us? In Porn: An Oral History, Polly Barton interrogates the absence of discussion around a topic that is ubiquitous and influences our daily lives. In her search for understanding, she spent a year initiating intimate conversations with nineteen acquaintances of a range of ages, genders and sexualities about everything and anything related to porn: watching habits, emotions and feelings of guilt, embarrassment, disgust and shame, fantasy and desire. Soon, unfolding before her, was exactly the book that she had been longing to encounter – not a traditional history, but the raw, honest truth about what we aren’t saying. A landmark work of oral history written in the spirit of Nell Dunn, Porn is a thrilling, thought-provoking, revelatory, revealing, joyfully informative and informal exploration of a subject that has always retained an element of the taboo.
About the authors:
Sophie Mackintosh is the author of three novels: The Water Cure, Blue Ticket and Cursed Bread. Her debut novel was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2018 and won a Betty Trask Award 2019. She has been published in Granta, The White Reviewand TANK magazineamong others.
Polly Barton is a Japanese literary translator. Her translations include Where the Wild Ladies Are by Aoko Matsuda, There’s No Such Thing as an Easy Job by Kikuko Tsumura, and Spring Garden by Tomoka Shibasaki. She won the 2019 Fitzcarraldo Editions Essay Prize for Fifty Sounds. Porn: An Oral History is her second book. She lives in Bristol.
Doors: 6.30, starts: 6.45
Tickets are £3.00 or free when pre-ordering a copy of either book. CURSED BREAD and PORN: AN ORAL HISTORY will also be available to purchase on the night and both authors 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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