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Books available for immediate dispatch from our bookshop.

Don’t Tell the Bees : Mary-Jane Holmes

Holmes conjures the best qualities of both the short story and the novel to create a lyrical evocation of the beauty, pain, and wonder of growing up. Don’t Tell the Bees oozes with love and conflict and of a girl’s passage into womanhood. Each chapter is a perfect little stand-alone flash story, a stunning example of what the form can accomplish. The reader is thrust heart-first into the difficult life of No-more and a world of unforgettable characters carved tenderly and precisely. Holmes recreates, in sensory-soaked detail, the world of a small French village near the Second World War. I marvel at how the author blends each stand-alone story into one masterful whole: poignant, compassionate, and profound in emotional impact.
~Meg Pokrass, author of The Dog Seated Next to Me, Pelekinsis.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-50-6, 133mm x 203mm, 60 pages.

£8.49 GBP
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Going Short: An invitation to Flash Fiction

Flash fiction is changing the way we tell stories. Carving away the excess, eliminating all but the most essential, flash fiction is putting the story through a literary dehydrator, leaving the meat without the fat. And it only looks easy.

Enter Going Short: An Invitation to Flash Fiction. In this, her treatise on the form, veteran writer Nancy Stohlman takes us on a flash fiction journey: from creating, sculpting, revisioning and collecting stories to best practices for writers in any genre. It is both instructive and conversational, witty and practical, and presented in flash fiction chapters that demonstrate the form as they discuss it. If you’re already a flash fiction lover, this book will be a dose of inspiration. If you teach flash fiction, you’ll want it as part of your repertoire. And if you’re new to the form, you might just find yourself ready to begin.

Paperback, ISBN 978-1-912095-79-7, 133mm x 203mm, 156 pages.

£12.99 GBP
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This Alone Could Save Us : Santino Prinzi

‘With This Alone Could Save Us, Santino Prinzi has fashioned a collection of small, smart fictions that read large. Here is work undergirded by innovation, incisive wit, and a keen ability to navigate terrain that is personal, and at once universal to us all.’
—Robert Scotellaro, author of Nothing Is Ever One Thing

‘Santino Prinzi is a word-wizard of the heart—a writer who fearlessly excavates uncomfortable secrets. In This Alone Could Save Us, Prinzi’s first full collection of flash fiction, human nature is the subject, gentle surrealism the medium. Bizarre yet real, funny and crazily sad—it’s mesmerizing to watch Prinzi’s vulnerable characters work to free themselves from life’s stickiest webs. Subversive, haunting, beautiful—a must-have collection!’
—Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators At Night and Series Co-Editor, Best Microfiction 2020

This Alone Could Save Us is a richly varied collection of flash fiction. In these compact gems, Santino Prinzi makes exquisite use of magic and the surreal, but also the quiet, evocative gestures of ordinary life. You will find the deliciously unexpected within these pages, along with moments of breath-taking stillness. Highly recommended.’
—Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works from 2003-2018

‘Tender, poetic, and wonderfully surreal, Prinzi understands that stories can save us. Powerful flash fiction that lights up the page, this is the book we all need right now. It is one for the ages. This stunning collection will stay with you for years.’
—Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing and Don’t Try This At Home

‘In This Alone Could Save Us, Santino Prinzi demonstrates his enormous talent for drawing readers into his stories, often surprising them with surrealistic touches that appear totally believable and natural. The flash fictions in this impressive collection are widely varied, but each story is unmistakably Prinzi.’
—Diane Simmons, author of Finding a Way

‘Exceptionally engaging, closely observed and thought-provoking, this collection shows us a flash master at work as he explores the fault lines that crack open under our feet at moments of unplanned change. Seen through his eyes, the familiar becomes strange, solid becomes unsteady, and even the moon loses its faith in humanity, so moves on. Sometimes sad, sometimes playful, always memorable.’
—Vanessa Gebbie, author of The Coward’s Tale and five short fiction collections

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-81-0; 196mm x 134mm; 144pp

£9.99 GBP
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With One Eye on the Cows : Bath Flash Fiction Volume Four

This anthology, the fourth from the Bath Flash Fiction Awards, contains 137 micro fictions of 300 words or under by writers from all over the world. The stories cover many topics: relationships in all their forms, familiar, strange, tragic or benign; war and displacement; the climate emergency; historical subjects; the fantastical and surreal. So many different styles and themes. So much to enjoy, make you think, and inspire you to write your own stories.

“From lush description to plot surprises to current events and complicated relationships of all kinds… a wonderful cross-section of flash fiction.”
~Nancy Stohlman, author of Madam Velvet’s Cabaret of Oddities

“There’s humor and pathos in these stories, conventional plots alongside innovative structures… personal stories and those concerning larger cultural themes.”
~Christopher Allen author of Other Household Toxins

“A real cornucopia of flash skills…all sparking joy.”
~Vanessa Gebbie author of The Coward’s Tale

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-85-8; 196mm x 134mm; 194pp

£9.99 GBP
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Inland Empire Afternoon : John Brantingham

This novella is a tour de force of narrative manipulation. Set during an afternoon in one urban area (the Inland Empire, California) the story leaps from one resident to another in story after story, offering a highly diverse ensemble cast of over 40 characters. Virtually every flash is deftly linked to the one that precedes, picking up a thread of narrative or location, and centred around certain key events – a hold-up, an earthquake, a wedding, a fire etc. The effect is to create a mesmerising portrait of the daily trials and tribulations of an urban community. Brilliantly conceived and skilfully written, this is an unusual and deeply impressive novella-in-flash.”
~ Michael Loveday author of Three Men On The Edge.

“In an age of superficiality, mediocrity, and sound-cliches, John Brantingham is a genuine throwback to when Men of Letters roamed the literary prairies. His creative and intellectual emanations brim with his enthusiasms, his versatility, and the depths of spirituality and social conscience at the core of his soul. There is no one of whom I could speak more highly, as a writer and as a person.”
~ Gerald Locklin author of The Case of The Missing Blue Volkswagen and others.

“Wise and insightful, Brantingham’s work brilliantly captures the light and darkness in us all.”
~ James Brown author of This River.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-83-4; 196mm x 134mm; 68pp

£8.49 GBP
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The Way of the Wind : Francine Witte

An unforgettable voice narrates this novella-in-flash, a jilted lover who is obsessed with her ex, struggling to find a settled place to live, and trying to find a way to make peace with both her disapproving mother and the memories of her estranged father. It’s impossible to resist this flawed narrator’s honest, raw humanity. Immediate, alive, sharp, psychologically astute – there is a kind of casual poetry in the writing. On virtually every page there are moments of expressive genius and flair that will either have you laughing or will tug hard at your heart.
—Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

With her first novella-in-flash, The Way of the Wind, Francine Witte takes the reader on a pot-holed, unpredictable journey of the heart—a roadtrip for which there is no GPS navigation. Not many writers of flash can conjure comedy and tragedy in perfectly equal doses, but like a magician at the top of her form, this is exactly what happens in Witte’s memorable tour-de-force.
—Meg Pokrass, author of The Dog Seated Next to Me

What do we do with loss—that hollow, unbearable weight we carry around? Do we dissolve? Or do we somehow reassemble our life? These are the central questions Francine Witte tackles head-on in her latest sensational book. With her heart laid bare on both sleeves, Witte also asks, What if? What if I’d been more? What if I’d mattered more? Through her spare, yet shimmering prose we get answers to these questions and many more. For the romantic, the philosopher, or anyone still breathing, this is the book you need in order to make sense of that thing we call love.
—Len Kuntz, author of This Is Why I Need You

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-93-3; 196mm x 134mm; 84pp

£9.99 GBP
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Straight Down The Road : Dan Crawley

The stories in this collection by Dan Crawley fit together like beautiful puzzle pieces to create a portrait of a broken family on the world’s worst road trip: a father dragging his wife and children into his dreams; a mother wishing for her own kind of freedom; their children, trapped in their parents’ narrative, wanting to create their own. Each piece is its own story, powerful in its own right, but together they create a beautiful, heartbreaking whole.
— Cathy Ulrich, author of Ghosts of You

As if it were some rediscovered Raymond Carver manuscript, this is a classic novella-in-flash in the mainstream American tradition. A working class family try to keep themselves afloat, travelling the country by car after the father quits his job. The writing is warmly affectionate towards the characters even though they’re flawed. There’s an appealing, breezy, summery quality even though real tension bubbles up – it feels like an authentic family dynamic. Some bond of grudging love is keeping this family together, even though they’re stretched to breaking point. Each flash has the clarity of a distinct memory – like each one might be a family legend. A vivid and highly effective novella-in-flash.
— Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

I admire the agility and surprise, the ferocity of this book’s verbal sleights of hand, Straight Down the Road is so wonderfully inventive, and emotionally precise. Crawley’s stories contain speaker’s voices that don’t suppress, voices and conflicts that brim with verve, rueful humor, and a new topography between head and heart. This is a writer who pressures language and transforms into improvisational, masterfully controlled, and yet fragile constructions. An intensely gripping collection.
— Robert Vaughan, author of Funhouse, EIC of Bending Genres

This novella-in-flash chronicles a joyful family road trip that quickly gives way to instability and uncertainty. Unmoored, and with an increasingly threadbare safety net beneath them, a couple and their gaggle of kids have no choice but to keep moving. Told with exquisite attention to detail, and an eye for all that is peculiar, arresting, and emblematic of America in the 70s, Dan Crawley’s Straight Down the Road is a gorgeous and unforgettable debut.
— Kathy Fish, author of Wild Life: Collected Works

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-91-96; 196mm x 134mm; 68pp

£8.49 GBP
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The Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2019

The twenty distinctive stories in our seventh anthology reveal the secrets, pains and pleasures of being human. Set in different times, cultures and places they reflect universal truths and beg to be read.

‘What struck me most was the inventiveness of the stories, whether in their structure, their voices, or in the wonderful range of vivid imagery. A girl suspended in mid-air, survivors healing through song in a candlelit chapel, two streetlamps leaning into each other, in love, in the twilight. These were images that remained with me long after reading.’
—Samuel Hodder, Blake Friedmann Literary Agency

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-89-6; 196mm x 134mm; 182pp

£9.99 GBP
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Flash Fiction Festival Three

82 micro fictions from participants and presenters who came from around the world to the third Flash Fiction Festival UK which took place in Bristol, UK in June 2019. Dip in to discover short short stories – all 250 words or under – in different styles and on many different themes from the personal to the political.

“A festival of riches, the UK Flash Fiction Festival is for adventurous writers and readers. From memoir and travel writing to novellas and dream sequences, the sessions in the third UK Flash Fiction Festival engaged writers new or experienced in the form and encouraged outside-the-box writing. Participants polished their skills, learned new ones and discovered hot-off-the-press books. Flash at its very best – with the very best!”
~ Michelle Elvy, writer, tutor, editor and festival workshop presenter. Author of the everrumble.

“The 2019 Flash Fiction Festival was a revelation. Fabulous workshops, great company. Came home with my head popping with ideas. A great confidence booster!”
~ Anne Howkins, festival participant.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-87-2; 196mm x 134mm; 134pp

£9.99 GBP
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The Roster : Debra A. Daniel

An ‘ensemble cast’ novella with a fresh and original concept — a sequence of stories about a teacher’s pupils at a school. The students’ eccentricities, rebelliousness and vulnerabilities are depicted with warmth, fondness, and very often, an absolutely heart-breaking poignancy, as in the case of the child with brittle bones, or the young boy grieving his sister. There is black humour too, in places, and endings that are intensely lyrical. The characterisations are superbly individualised, vivid, inventive and memorable, and are written with beautiful variety of expression. A novella of immense charm that has real emotional substance.
—Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

Early on, one of Debra Daniel’s wonderfully eccentric characters says, ‘Don’t try to figure out how it’s done. Just let it be magic.’ That turns out to be good advice. The Roster magically evokes the multifarious milieu of the school playground and the early-grade classroom. It’s filled with quirky and unforgettable characters—hyperactive twins, a boy with Tourette, a brittle-boned girl confined to a cart—all beautifully rendered through the wise eyes of a primary school teacher. These are stories told with love and wonder. They’re magic.
—Luke Whisnant, author of In the Debris Field

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-95-7; 196mm x 134mm; 58pp

£7.49 GBP
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Homing : Johanna Robinson

‘This novella-in-flash, a historical fiction encompassing the Second World War and telling the story of a Norwegian family from 1933 to 1970, has more epic sweep than many novels. A powerful novella of real substance, bold technique and readerly appeal, it’s the kind of literary fiction that would grace the shelves of any bookstore and find a passionate readership.’
~Michael Loveday, author of Three Men on the Edge

‘Johanna Robinson’s ambitious, sweeping novella shines a provocative light on the timeless beauty of belonging to a family. This author seamlessly juxtaposes moments of love and tenderness against the grim realities of war, and the effect is deeply uplifting.’
~Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators At Night

‘Homing unpacks what it is to maintain longing and hope over five decades in one family. It plays with words and emotions as it zig-zags between flashes that build to form a satisfying, moving insight: the whole far greater than the sum of its parts.’
~Stephanie Hutton, author of Three Sisters of Stone

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-97-1; 196mm x 134mm; 126pp

£9.99 GBP
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Birds with Horse Hearts : Eleanor Walsh

Avery, a young widow from Iowa, travels to Nepal to connect with her late husband’s roots. Though she knows no more than that his village was called Baghmara, she’s willing to visit every Baghmara in the country if she must. But when she meets a young Nepali woman, Putali, and her mother, Khusbhu – two women also struggling to build new lives for themselves – Avery becomes more embroiled in the chaotic energy of the living than the histories of the dead, pursuing a connection far deeper than the one for which she’d been searching. Birds with Horse Hearts explores the entangled lives of three women as they navigate grief, freedom, and their own journeys to find people to call family and places to call home.

‘underneath these bone-hard micro-fictions runs a soft tissue of human connection’
~Rob Magnuson Smith, winner of the Elizabeth Jolley Prize and the Faulkner Wisdom Competition

‘strange and beautiful tale’
~Karen Hofmann, three-time winner of the Okanagan Short Fiction Contest

‘intimate and affecting’
~David Devanny, author of Wasps on the Way and winner of the Ictus Prize

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-74-2; 196mm x 134mm; 60pp

£7.49 GBP
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All That Is Between Us : K.M. Elkes

This collection of flash fiction stories explores the complex fragility of human relationships, both the challenges of belonging and how much we risk to avoid being alone. It is a book of moments, evoking the beauty and comfort that connection brings…and the pain when it is severed.

‘Whoever you are, whatever you like to read, you need these stories in your life.’
–Tania Hershman, author of Some Of Us Glow More Than Others

‘These insightful and disarmingly honest stories shimmer with quirky brilliance.’
–Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators At Night

‘K.M. Elkes writes like a fallen angel, making the ordinary divine…This is breath-taking flash fiction at its finest.’
–Angela Readman, author of Something Like Breathing

‘Brings a Cheeveresque emotional punch to his stories…a masterclass in the heart-jolting satisfaction of great flash fiction.’
–Nuala O’Connor, author of Joyride to Jupiter

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-53-7; 196mm x 134mm; 150pp

£9.99 GBP
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the everrumble : Michelle Elvy

the everrumble is a poetic imagining of intense focus and sweeping ideas. Zettie’s story is fluid and in motion, transcending geographies and time. She stops talking, at age seven, and starts to listen – to the worlds she finds in language and books, and to the people and places she encounters as she moves across continents. Her silence connects her to people, to nature and to the elemental world. Magical and beyond boundaries, this collection focuses on small fragments, taking Zettie, and the reader, inevitably to the place where human history began.

‘a loving homage to our beleaguered planet’
–Catherine McNamara

‘a tour de force’
–Christopher Allen

‘luminous’
–Tracey Slaughter

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-73-5; 196mm x 134mm; 132pp

£9.99 GBP
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Finding a Way : Diane Simmons

In Finding a Way, Diane Simmons chronicles a family navigating loss. Told from various perspectives, this series of connected flashes finds words where so many cannot. The often indescribable is distilled in a way that is fresh and full of deep emotional understanding. This debut collection is both delicate and impactful, and the stories within are among the rare that will move any reader.
—Santino Prinzi, author of There’s Something Macrocosmic About All of This

Poignant, joyful, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting. It touched my heart.
—Sarah Hilary

What gives the book its power is the writer’s commitment to the everyday. Without a hint of melodrama, Diane Simmons shows how ordinary life is altered, and made strange, by the death of a loved one. I was moved beyond words by this fine, modest, under-stated and perceptive book.
—David Swann, author of The Privilege of Rain

A brilliantly specific exploration of grief, rich in emotional detail.
—Meg Pokrass, author of Alligators At Night

I absolutely loved this collection and cared deeply for the characters and their journeys. It made me smile. It made me cry. It made me feel a lot of things. I am sure this accomplished, intelligent, absorbing read will resonate with a wide readership.
—Emily Devane

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-57-5; 196mm x 134mm; 120pp

£9.99 GBP
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Things Left and Found by the Side of the Road : Bath Flash Fiction Volume Three

133 short short fictions selected from the winners, short listed, and long listed authors from the three rounds of the 2018 international Bath Flash Fiction Awards. All 300 words and under, these stories are by writers representing over twenty different countries. Experimental fictions exploring many different themes and subjects which show the variety possible in his exciting and continually developing genre.

“Writers flowed but did not meander. I went to places I haven’t been before, and I was shown ordinary objects in a different light, heard language used in a new way, smelled new smells, felt new feelings.”
Tara L. Masih, novelist, short story writer, editor of The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash Fiction, author of My Real Name Is Hanna

“A fascinating dip into the psyche of creative writers at this point in time… lots of examples of great writing here, by great writers.”
David Gaffney, novelist and short story writer. Author of More Sawn-Off Tales, All The Places I’ve Ever Lived, The Three Rooms in Valerie’s Head

“The standard was high… powerful writing and interesting themes… a feeling that many writers were working hard and pulling from deep resources.”
Nuala O’Connor, novelist, poet and short story writer. Author of Joy Ride to Jupiter, Miss Emily and Becoming Belle

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-63-6; 196mm x 134mm; 168pp

£9.99 GBP
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Flash Fiction Festival Two

Sixty micro fictions written by participants and presenters inspired by the second UK Flash Fiction Festival held in Bristol, July 2018. The stories here, by writers from several different countries, touch on world politics, relationships in all their forms, fantasy and historical themes. Short-short fictions that surprise and linger long.

“The Flash Fiction Festival 2018 was a wonderfully inclusive, supportive weekend for flash writers at all levels. Its workshops were well varied and inspirational, while the readings gave so much pleasure with the quality and range of the work. Not to be missed next year!”
—Carrie Etter, poet, flash fiction writer and Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University.

“The Flash Fiction Festival 2018, under the direction of Jude Higgins, is itself a collaborative work of art. It was a deep pleasure to be part of a world where everyone was open, engaged in each other’s writing, and made more adventurous by proximity to this community. We talked, we ate, we drank, we wrote. Then we wrote about what had just happened.”
—Laurie Stone, writer, critic and teacher.

“A great weekend. A lot of serious work done, but also a lot of fun. If you write, or want to write flash, book for next year as soon as booking opens!”
—Jenny Woodhouse, writer, U3A Group Leader.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-59-9; 196mm x 134mm; 126pp

£9.99 GBP
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The Bath Short Story Award Anthology 2018

The devastating consequences of a wild fire in ‘the bush’. An unreliable narrator who may have been wrongly accused of a crime. The skewed logic of a child in the aftermath of tragedy. Just some of the powerful winning and shortlisted stories that are included in this sixth anthology from Bath Short Story Award.

‘I was taken from the UK to Australia with detours to the Middle East, Japan and North America. And I was plunged into the lives of different characters dealing with a variety of emotions – grief, disappointment, anger and guilt. The writing is of a high standard throughout ans every one of these stories has things to commend them.’
—Euan Thorneycroft, Senior Literary Agent, A M Heath

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-55-1; 196mm x 134mm; 186pp

£9.99 GBP
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Alligators at Night : Meg Pokrass

A collection of 72 very short stories from Meg Pokrass, author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down and Here, Where We Live.

The nuanced tonal complexity, which can go from the whimsical to a darker irony in the turn of a phrase, has been a signature feature of the work of Meg Pokrass. That complexity is, in her new collection, Alligators at Night, heightened further by the fertile invention and unpredictable interplay of these beautifully crafted pieces.
— Stuart Dybek, author of Ecstatic Cahoots

Meg Pokrass is my favourite flash fiction writer at the moment. These stories work like stories within stories, the tiny cogs in the wheels of a bigger story machine but which, like fractal patterning, retain the shape of the whole story in perfect miniature form.
— David Gaffney, author of Sawn Off Tales

These small fictions are elegantly wrought, diamond-hard, and supremely satisfying.
— Robert Scotellaro, author of What We Know So Far and Bad Motel

If you ever hear someone say they don’t get flash fiction or ask what impact can you possibly make with prose in such few words? – tell them to read Meg Pokrass.
— Paul McVeigh, author of The Good Son

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-65-0; 196mm x 134mm; 128pp

£9.99 GBP
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In the Debris Field : Three Novellas-In-Flash

A collection of three flash fiction novellas from the second Bath Flash Fiction Award which demonstrate the range and scope of this exciting and innovative genre.

In the Debris Field by Luke Whisnant… chronicles the unconventional experiences of a male protagonist from childhood through middle-age. It is a breathtakingly imaginative study of the strangest ways family members will accidentally scar one another. Readers will relax and enjoy the ride, because they’re in the hands of a flash fiction master.

A Slow Boat To Finland by Victoria Melekian… in which we are not sure how a bereaved mother will recover after losing her toddler daughter in a car accident. Especially when the little girl’s heart saves another child. The strong and convincing writing will pull you right into this story and make you want to know what happens next.

Latter Day Saints by Jack Remiel Cottrell… is a highly inventive quest story. A young man tries to find answers about life and whether it is worth living, from his visits to ‘saints’. Flawed characters, the saints include a labourer, a celebrity, a taxi driver, a city business woman, a second-hand dealer, and an old and frail man. They sometimes help him, and often make him question more.”
—Meg Pokrass, writer, poet, editor, tutor. Author of Bird Envy, Damn Sure Right, The Dog Looks Happy Upside Down and Here, Where We Live.

Paperback; ISBN 978-1-912095-61-2; 196mm x 134mm; 112pp

£9.99 GBP
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