Archive for the ‘Featured’ Category
Follow Bob Dylan’s famous and controversial World Tour, rocked by controversy just as Dylan went electric. From eye-witnesses, timely reports, and the participants themselves, this is a rocking romp from esteemed Dylan biographer Clinton Heylin.
In 1966 there was…the sell-out tour to end all tours. Bob Dylan and The Hawks found themselves at the epicenter of a storm of controversy. Their response? To unleash a cavalcade of ferocity from Melbourne to Manchester, from Forest Hills to the Free Trade Hall. For the first time, the full story can now be told from eye-witnesses galore; from timely reports, both mile-wide and spot on; and from the participants themselves. And what better tour guide than Clinton Heylin, the esteemed Dylan biographer and one of the world’s leading rock historians.
“The definitive written account of Dylan’s historic and pivotal 1965-66 world tours.”–Bobdylan.com
“British writer-historian Heylin is perhaps the world’s authority on all things Dylan.”–Rolling Stone
Clinton Heylin is one of the leading rock historians in the world, with over two dozen books to his name. These include biographies of Bob Dylan (Behind The Shades), Van Morrison (Can You Feel The Silence?), Bruce Springsteen (E Street Shuffle), and Sandy Denny (No More Sad Refrains). He is also the author of the acclaimed pre-punk history, From The Velvets To The Voidoids, the one and only history of rock bootlegs, Bootleg, and the highly acclaimed It’s One For The Money: The Song Snatchers Who Carved Up A Century of Pop, nominated for the 2016 Penderyn Book Award. He lives in Somerset, UK.
ISBN 978-1-901927-68-9 Paperback $25.00
This unassuming headline compelled a successful Scottish conductor to set off on a life-altering odyssey to one of the most dangerous countries on earth. In his fascinating memoir, Paul MacAlindin recounts how he and an inspiring 17-year-old piano protégé built the first ever Youth Orchestra of Iraq from the ashes of the Iraq War.
Upbeat is the story of Paul and the orchestra he helped create. How do you pull together a diverse orchestra of both Arabs and Kurds (not natural colleagues), young musicians some who are self-taught; many without proper instruments; and all of whom have suffered immensely from tyranny and war? And perhaps most crucially of all, how can you make beautiful music when you are living through hell? This is the fascinating story of how music brought purpose and hope to the amazingly talented, yet shamefully under-served youth of Iraq.
Paul MacAlindin discovered from an early age that he loved being an artist leading artists. As a musician, dancer, and all-round performer, he found his voice through conducting, a passionate journey that has led him to work with orchestras and ensembles all over the world, from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra to the Armenian Philharmonic to the Düsseldorf Symphoniker.
“The great adventure of the National Youth Orchestra of Iraq deserves not only to be recorded for posterity but also to serve as an example of how the essential can survive catastrophe.”-Sir Peter Maxwell Davies
“Be prepared to laugh, cry and – above all – to discover music’s power to overcome seemingly irreconcilable differences and create harmony out of chaos.”-Julian Lloyd Webber
“Upbeat is an eloquently-written, moving and sometimes funny book. Its title, taken from the gesture that conductors make to indicate the beat that leads into a new bar of music, is symbolic of change and progress. It also describes the mindset that was often required of MacAlindin and his team in testing circumstances.”–The National (UAE)
“Fragile, precarious, quixotic and almost insanely heroic.”–BBC Music Magazine
“…one of the most unlikely, and genuinely heroic, stories you’re ever likely to read.”–The Spectator
“…the fact that any sort of orchestra could be brought together seems a miracle.”–The Daily Telegraph
“Even if it doesn’t reform, the orchestra was a victory for art and light in the face of darkness. And in the year of Chilcot, Mr MacAlindin’s Upbeat seems a timely homage to this fragile but beautiful thing created by an inspirational Scot and the bravery and dedication of the musicians.”–The Herald
“Upbeat serves as an inspiring and insightful guide towards understanding a land too long dominated by war and violence.”–The Express
Here is a recent interview with Paul Macalindin on A Tempo with Rachel Katz, a 30-minute public affairs program devoted to issues, challenges and opportunities facing the performing arts.2016, 350 pages (Sandstone)
ISBN 978-1-910985-09-0 Hardback $32.00
This fascinating book chronicles the early life of the novel Ulysses and contrasts the first obscenity trial, which found Joyce’s prose obscene, with the second, in which the novel was exonerated. It adds not only to the understanding of Joyce but also to the history of the struggle of writers to overcome law of obscenity. The author’s experience as a lawyer brings a deep understanding and analysis to each case. He weaves in a narrative of the text of Ulysses, the contemporaneous historical context and the motives of the players (John Quinn, Judge Woolsey et al) involved in each step of the trials.
Joseph M. Hassett is both a leading trial lawyer and an authoritative literary critic based in Washington, D.C. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and holds a PhD from University College Dublin. Hassett’s book, W.B. Yeats and the Muses was published by Oxford University Press in 2010.
“[Hassett] has a smooth scholarly style that draws the reader in, and his argument is well-researched and persuasive…Hassett creates an engaging portrait of the dawn of literary modernism and will leave readers nostalgic for a time when a challenging literary novel could be the cause of so much trouble.”–Publishers Weekly
“[A] superbly written gem of a book…Hassett’s clear writing style makes this work accessible to all readers, who will find the legal analysis both comprehensive and compelling.”–Library Journal (Starred Review)
“Hassett is a Harvard-trained trial lawyer and a formidable critic in his own right, and so he brings to this book both his literary and legal acumen, becoming the ideal chronicler of this tale.”–Irish Voice
“Himself a Washington-based Irish-American lawyer, he is well placed to understand and assess the issues involved. Above all, as with the best books, Hassett has strong views of his own and states them strongly.”–Irish Times
“In his lifetime (1870-1924) and ever since, John Quinn, the Irish-American lawyer, art collector and patron of the arts, has had more or less a free pass. With Joseph Hassett’s incisive book the curiously protracted impunity Quinn has enjoyed has at last expired…. Joseph Hassett, in his other life a trial-hardened lawyer in the United States, has written a counter-brief. It is remorselessly courteous, even collegiate. It is also devastating. Quinn committed more or less every sin open to the advocate, even if he continued to believe he was acting in the best interests of Joyce.”–Dublin Review of Books232 pages (Lilliput Press)
ISBN 978-1-84351-668-2 Hardback $45.00
Kirkus’ Indie Books of the Month Selection
In this narrative poem, Kirby the sneaky, dog-genius steals the hole Arlo dug in the yard and the social order begins to break down. Kirby faces grave, injurious peril in restoring cosmic harmony. In rhyming couplets he reflects on the hole’s eerie influence, he contemplates spider webs, Newton, The Old West, Scottish history, Templars, the Roundtable Knights, the existence of dragons, and the nature of time, itself. This nimbly written, playful poem will delight children of all ages, even the adult ones.
From Kirkus Indie Reviews:
“As told in rhyming couplets, when a sneaky dog steals a scrupulous dog’s hole, things fall apart, sparking philosophical reflections.
At the Burbles’ place, house 42, live “Kirby the Sneak and Arlo the True,” plus Kismet the Cat. Arlo is a clay-colored guard dog who keeps watch over the yard, which includes the hole he dug as a puppy. Kirby is a black-and-white collie “of a thousand disguises, unbeaten at Clue, // Dogma Cum Laude from Trickery U,” so he devises an elaborate plan to steal Arlo’s hole. He fills it in, runs off with the hole in his mouth, and puts it in neighbor Mr. McCornchowder’s yard, making a quick escape. Somehow this alters the balance of nature: “The earthyworms’ dirts had turned hard as a rock, / And the dragonfly’s motor was starting to knock,” for example. Kismet the Wise, however, orders Kirby to “get the hole back.” With some difficulty and a little damage to himself, Kirby does so, and all returns to normal. Kirby sits down to think it over, with wide-ranging philosophical musing on the nature of holes, points, circles, physics, time, webs, and more. Both dogs find themselves reflecting on family history and tradition: Arlo’s of fidelity and Kirby’s of sneakiness and sheepherding, counterpointed with the backdrop of a perfect summer afternoon. The end of Kirby’s exploring is his grand theory, “The Downhole Effect.” Williamson (A Most Marvelous Piece of Luck, 2008, etc.), a much-published poet, seems unable to write a dull line. His lists are a special delight, as when Kirby assembles his hole-recovery gear: “One snow axe, two snorkels, a hollow point spear // A vanishing hand cream called U D’sappear,” and so on. His images are fresh and striking: an American dog with “the patience of mesas”; “the Spirograph seeds in the sunflower’s swirl.” This might resemble a children’s book, with its rhyming couplets, animal heroes, and amusing line drawings, but adults will likely better appreciate its zinging verbal wit, clever rhymes, and learned allusions.
Brilliantly comic, pleasingly discursive, admirably dexterous, this narrative poem is a tour de force.”2016, 120 pages (Waywiser Press)
ISBN 978-1-904130-83-3 Paperback $20.00
This historical thriller, set in 18th century Wales, uses the real-life
setting of Nanteos Estate, as it’s superstitions, tales of haunting, and the
powerful Nanteos Grail cast a shadow on its new occupants.
Superstition, tales of haunting, and the powerful Nanteos grail cast their shadow over the house and soon the family is caught up in a vicious political and legal battle that will end in tragedy.
The Shadow of Nanteos tells the fictionalized story of one generation of the Powell family, who actually owned the estate for centuries. Considered one of the most haunted buildings in Wales, Nanteos Mansion now operates as a luxury, country hotel. It was featured on an episode of Ghost Hunters International.
2015, 288 pages (Y Lolfa)
ISBN 978-1-78461-171-2 Paperback $17.00
Since visiting Nanteos mansion at the age of ten, Jane Blank has been haunted by the Grade I-listed Georgian house near Aberystwyth, nowadays a five-star hotel. The Shadow of Nanteos is her second novel and has been long-listed for the Historical Novel Society Awards, 2015. Jane divides her time between teaching English and Drama at a Welsh-language secondary school in south Wales, writing, and working for an environmental charity. For a full profile in her own words, click here and you can view a slideshow tour of the estate here.
Click here for more on the Legend of the Nanteos Cup
A lone building on a small island off Ireland’s Donegal coast, St Ernan’s is politely known as a “retirement home” for priests. The exiled residents are guilty of such serious offenses as entrepreneurship, criticizing the church, or getting too friendly with the flock. But things take a turn when Fr Matthew McKaye is found dead in the kitchen, a pot of potatoes boiling on the range. Has one of these isolated outcasts committed murder?
The case is assigned to Inspector Starrett and his tenacious team at the Serious Crimes Unit, who find the unexplainable cause of death to be the first in a string of oddities.
Starrett soon discovers that ten clergy alone on an island can concoct a great deal of mischief, but what could the young priest have done to get himself murdered? Long-buried grievances are awakened by the ghosts of Starrett’s seminarian past, and though Starrett excels at untangling facts from speculation, this investigation is going to require all the procedural discipline he can muster.
“In Irish author Charles’s atmospheric third Inspector Starrett mystery, Starrett investigates a murder at a home for wayward Catholic priests…The various secrets uncovered are worth waiting for.”—Publishers Weekly
“Charles makes Starrett’s third case leisurely, literate, ingenious…and as old-fashioned as the idea that priests are pillars of private morality.”—Kirkus Reviews
“The reader of St Ernan’s Blues will learn a lot about the priests of St Ernan’s and a lot about human nature.”—Irish American News2016, 320 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1360-7 Hardback $29.00
ISBN 978-0-8023-6031-1 Ebook $9.99
William Black’s debut collection looks closely at life in the heart of coal country — now fracking country — in Northeastern Pennsylvania. In these starkly beautiful, incandescent stories, people struggle with the grip that place and history have on them. They are consumed by searching — for love, for escape, for brief moments of clarity that give them the courage to continue.
William Black’s stories have appeared in The Sun, The Southern Review, Threepenny Review, Crazyhorse, Prairie Schooner, The Florida Review, and many other journals and magazines. He lives in Scranton, Pennsylvania and teaches at Johns Hopkins University.
“Black is at his best as a social realist in a blue-collar milieu.”—Kirkus Reviews
“William Black’s stunning and stirring debut collection consists of twelve short stories set in Appalachia’s Northeastern Pennsylvania, where rugged hills and peaceful valleys landscape both the terrain and the soul. The evocative language in which Inheritances is written mirrors the highs and lows of his characters’ emotions as Black leads us and immerses us into their lives. Each story’s intriguing beginning and thought-provoking ending make this collection a keeper—one you’ll find yourself reaching for every time you need a dose of the valor and courage his characters demonstrate…. Make a space on your bookshelf for this one, preferably on a shelf within arm’s reach, as it’s a short-story collection you won’t want to part with.”—NewPages
“Inheritances pulls you in by the scruff of your neck, then pounds on your heart. These finely etched tales are told by narrators we trust and believe in, describing this ravaged landscape and its people with insight and authority. William Black clearly knows this world of hard lives and hard work — knows it well enough to find the softness in it, the tender places.”—Jim Daniels author of Eight Mile High
“William Black’s characters, though they don’t know it, are on adventures dark, dangerous, foolhardy, brave, and filled with the beauty of the human spirit. Black’s landscapes and histories sometimes punish these people, but Black’s eye, prose and generosity imbue both the starkest terrain and most desperate inhabitants with wonder and earned hope.” —Tim Parrish author of The Jumper
“William Black’s stories, of families caught in the drought of hollowed-out mining towns, are an inheritance of loss–of providing for one’s family, of a sense of self, of a sense of future. But somehow Black makes the hard, dangerous edges of their lives, the hot embers of their hearts, gleam and resonate. In short, they sting.”-Jen Michalski, The Tide King and The Summer She Was Under Water2015, 224 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1359-1 Paperback $15.00
Brendy McCusker had it made when he took early retirement from the Ulster police force with a handsome pay-out. That is until his wife ran off to America with their nest egg, forcing him back to work in Belfast.
On his first major case, McCusker partners with DI Lily O’Carroll to locate the two missing sons of a wealthy businessman. But before the brothers can be found, McCusker is reassigned to the brutal murder of an American banker staying on Cyprus Avenue. As the detectives delve into their subjects’ pasts, McCusker finds himself juggling his move to Belfast, O’Carroll’s frequent blind dates, his status as a hired-back rent-a-cop, and trying not to be distracted by Belfast’s beautiful women, especially one mysterious woman in particular.
McCusker and O’Carroll eventually find a person of interest with an air-tight alibi, but only one of the detectives believes it is genuine…
“Continuously absorbing, with a nice rapport between the hero and heroine.”—Kirkus Reviews
Paul Charles was born and raised in Magherafelt in the North of Ireland. He is the author of the critically acclaimed D.I. Christy Kennedy mysteries including I Love The Sound of Breaking Glass, The Beautiful Sound of Silence, and A Pleasure to do Death With You, the 10th in the series and recently published by Dufour Editions.
Paul lives in Camden Town and divides his time between working in the music business and writing. He is currently working on the second McCusker mystery, A Day in The Life of Louis Bloom.2014, 292 pages (Dufour)
ISBN 978-0-8023-1358-4 Hardback $29.00