Lucia Obsorne-Crowley writes piece on bibliotherapy and trauma for The Times
Friday 13 September 2019
Lucia Osborne-Crowley, author of forthcoming Indigo Mood title I Choose Elena, has written an essay entitled ‘How bibliotherapy helped me to deal with trauma’ for The Times. A stirring and brave reflection on her rape and the grueling recovery which followed, Osborne-Crowley writes of the authors who offered a glimmer of hope and empathy amidst bouts of chronic illness.
The essay received widespread admiration online, with Leslie Jamison commenting ‘I have no doubt her wonderful book will do for so many readers what these books have done for her’ and Sinéad Gleeson calling the essay a ‘powerful piece’. Read a short extract below:
‘There is nothing more comforting than having someone bear witness to your suffering. It is the only thing, I believe, that allows us to feel pain instead of trying to escape from it. It is knowing the writer has felt how you feel, and has done the kindness of putting it into words. Words that will be there when you are ready for them. Words that sit in your bedside table, waiting for you to need them, to reach for them. Words are patient and kind in a way that no other kind of love can be. I really believe that.’
The full essay can be read on The Times website.
Richard Seymour launches The Twittering Machine at Housmans Bookshop
Thursday 5 September 2019
Yesterday evening saw the launch of The Twittering Machine at radical bookshop Housmans, where Richard Seymour spoke to a full room about the insidious addictiveness of social media. In a talk spanning topics from the human vulnerability trolls use to target their victims to the ways in which we might liberate ourselves from mind-numbing, compulsive scrolling, Richard’s talk was a powerful analysis of the social platforms that have taken over our lives.
Following the talk, Richard was presented with an original copy of Simon Pearsall’s Private Eye cartoon, which features the author huddled over his desk deep in the writing process as ominous birds gather above. The audience were also invited to ask questions, allowing Richard to further explain the way in which the alt-right have harnessed social media for malign intent and to explore the psychological manipulation that keeps us on everything from Facebook to dating apps.
Further book events for The Twittering Machine have been planned for Autumn/Winter 2019, details of which will be posted soon on our Events page.
The Twittering Machine is this week’s Guardian Long Read
Friday 23 July 2019
We are thrilled to share that an edited excerpt from Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine has been made this week’s Guardian Long Read. From the dizzying repercussions of going viral to technology’s toxic effects on interpersonal relationships, Seymour’s Long Read examines just how terrifying our addiction-fueled digital age has become. Read a short extract below:
‘The Twittering Machine, as a wholly designed operant conditioning chamber, needs none of the expedients of the casino or opium den. The user has already dropped out of work, a boring lunch or an anxious social situation to enter into a different, timeless zone. What we do on the Twittering Machine has as much to do with what we are avoiding as what we find when we log in – which, after all, is often not that exciting. There is no need to block out the windows, because that is what the screen is already doing: screening out daylight.’
Read the full essay on the Guardian website . . .
This follows on from impressive coverage of The Twittering Machine over the past month, with the book being featured in both Tatler (‘Seymour’s compulsively argued book may just be the intervention we need’) and the Observer (‘if you really want to set yourself free, you should read a book, preferably this one’).
The Indigo Press announce 2020 acquisitions
Friday 28 June 2019
The Indigo Press authors Ivana Bartoletti, Lucia Osborne Crowley, Richard Seymour and Paul Behrens (left to right) at The Indigo Press’s summer drinks reception last night.
Attendees included journalists, literary critics authors and editors and booksellers for Waterstones and indies, who were treated to presentations from the authors about their forthcoming books.
The key themes of our times – increasing misogyny and other hate crime, climate catastrophe, new technologies, the migration of peoples and the lack of accountability enjoyed by transnational corporate business – are addressed through our growing list which traverses continents and cultures, exploring the myriad ways humans interact with each other. From new writers to established names, these are important stories that need to be told.
A taste of our 2020 Fiction
Irene Sabatini An Act of Defiance
An Act of Defiance tells the story of Gabrielle Langa, an idealistic young woman working as a lawyer in Harare at the height of Robert Mugabe’s rule, and her journey towards self-realisation in the wake of a brutal attack. A sweeping political drama and a refreshingly unconventional love story, Sabatini takes the reader through Zimbabwe’s unfolding economic and political crises, showing the brutal and dehumanising effects of the corruption and violence wrought by Mugabe’s regime.
Irene Sabatini is the author of two previous critically acclaimed novels, The Boy Next Door, which won the 2010 Orange Award for New Writers, and Peace and Conflict.
Paul Behrens The Best of Times, The Worst of Times
Academic, physicist and environmental expert Paul Behrens presents an elegant analysis of the Environmental Crisis. In a book that will set out the key points of crisis the world faces, he also writes, in alternative chapters, of what the future could look like, and details the steps we can take to ensure our survival. With uncompromising honesty and lucid and accessible prose, Behrens sets out the science behind the headlines and uses examples from around the globe to focus our minds on the most important issue of our time.
Ivana Bartoletti Coding the Matriarchy
In a work specially commissioned by The Indigo Press, activist and policy maker Ivana Bartoletti, an internationally-recognised expert in Artificial Intelligence, explains why a feminist approach is of paramount importance as governments and societies around the world establish laws that will define our future with AI. With the existing debate focusing on the ethics of AI, Bartoletti challenges the premises that inform current practice and law – establishing the need for an approach that considers the role women play in technology and how this will become even more marked in the future.
Lucia Osborne-Crowley My Body Keeps Your Secrets
In her first full-length book, the author of the forthcoming Mood Indigo essay I Choose Elena writes about the secrets a woman’s body keeps, from puberty to menstruation to sexual pleasure; to pregnancy or its absence; and to darker secrets of abuse, invasion or violation. Moving from girlhood and adolescence to young womanhood, Osborne-Crowley establishes her credentials as a key feminist thinker of a new generation with this widely researched and boldly argued work about reclaiming our bodies in the age of social media, telling the story of the woman’s body in 2020 through a global, inclusive lens.
Panashe Chigumadzi essay, ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to Nigerian People About Race’, goes viral
Tuesday 9 April 2019
Panashe Chigumadzi, author of These Bones Will Rise Again, the first book to respond to the ‘coup-that-was-not-a-coup’ of Robert Mugabe in November 2017, has written an essay for leading African culture and literature blog, Africa is Not a Country.
Published on Sunday, the essay has gone viral, and has been shared and discussed by hundreds of people on Twitter. Read a short extract below:
‘In Mpahlele’s sentiments about the differences between his South African and Nigerian schoolchildren lies the question at the crux of this essay: If it is true that we of African descent have grown up in different households, that shape our experiences of the world differently, how do we respond to the pain and yearnings of our sisters? What happens when that pain that is unfamiliar to us because it is pain particular to their households but foreign to ours? If our sisters say there is a fire in their house, do we deny it because there is no fire in ours? Do we shout over their shouts for help because our house is not burning? What if we have never encountered a fire before? Do we criticize the way our sisters try to fan out the flames before we have learnt the nature of fire?’
Read the full essay on Africa is Not a Country . . .
Panashe’s essay followed on from appearances at Berlin’s African Book Festival last Friday, and on German TV to discuss the festival and her work, last Friday.
Sulaiman Addonia launches The Asmara-Addis Literary Festival ‘In Exile’
The Indigo Press author Sulaiman Addonia launched The Asmara-Addis Literary Festival ‘In Exile’ that ‘reflects and celebrates our societies not as censored but as they exist in reality’.
Taking place at Bozar, Brussels, the festival featured Maaza Mengiste, Minna Salami, Amina Jama, Rachida Lamrabet, Chike Frankie Edozien, Vanessa Tsehaye, Meron Estefanos, Hazel Thomas, Soheila Mehri, Ubah Cristina Ali Farah, Desta Haile, Astrid Haerens, Madeleine Kennedy-Macfoy, and Saleh Addonia, as well as The Indigo Press Publishing Director, Ellah Wakatama Allfrey.
The festival was split into two parts. The first, THE SHAPES OF LOVE, brought together writers, poets and activists that show resistance through love, literature, and the act of creating beauty, demonstrating solidarity with writers and journalists imprisoned in Eritrea and the LGBTQI community who are facing harsh discriminatory policies.
The second part, I CREATE #IAmNotAMuse, was a panel celebrating five African feminists from five corners of Africa who are reshaping literature at home and abroad. The focus here was on the creator, and showcased how these pioneering women are moving the literary world of Africa and beyond forward with bold, innovative ideas.
The Indigo Press featured in The Bookseller
Wednesday 28th November 2018
The Indigo Press were featured in an article in trade magazine The Bookseller earlier this month, who ran an in-depth interview with Publishing Director Ellah Wakatama Allfrey.
‘Our books have a common thread in terms of what they are trying to interrogate, but also in the authors’ ambition as storytellers.’
The Bookseller also announced the exciting list of authors acquired for 2019, including Ahmad Danny Ramadan’s The Clothesline Swing, Parker Bilal’s The Divinities, Richard Seymour’s The Twittering Machine and Lucia Osborne-Crowley’s I Choose Elena.
You can read the full article here:
The Indigo Press announce launch titles for fiction list
Tuesday 29th May 2018
The Indigo Press are excited to announce two new titles acquired by Publishing Director Ellah Wakatama Allfrey.
Wonder Valley is a noir literary thriller from genre-crossing author Ivy Pochoda, whose previous titles include The Art of Disappearing and Visitation Street, an Amazon Best Book of 2013. Wonder Valley has been received to critical acclaim in the US, where it was named among the best books of 2017 by The Los Angeles Times and NPR and was described as “destined to be a classic L.A. novel” by Michael Connelly. It will be published in the UK on 20th September 2018.
Set across the sun-bleached canvas of Los Angeles, Wonder Valley follows a cast of six misfits who narrate the book. There’s Ren, just out of juvie, who travels to LA in search of his mother. There’s Owen and James, teenage twins who live in a desert commune, where their father, a self-proclaimed healer, holds sway over his band of disciples. There’s Britt, who shows up at the commune harbouring a dark secret. There’s Tony, a bored and unhappy lawyer. And there’s Blake, a drifter hiding in the desert, doing his best to fight off his most violent instincts. Their lives will all intertwine and come crashing together in a shocking way, one that could only happen in this enchanting, dangerous city.
Sulaiman Addonia’s Silence is My Mother Tongue is a searing novel about migration, sacrifice and the powerful bonds forged in the crucible of life in a refugee camp. This is the second book by Addonia, whose first novel The Consequences of Love was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and translated into more than 20 languages. Silence is My Mother Tongue will be published on 4th October 2018.
Saba, the novel’s heroine, arrives in an East African refugee camp as a young girl. In this crowded and often hostile place, she must carve out her new existence. As she struggles to maintain her sense of self, Saba remains fiercely protective of her mute brother Hagos – each sibling resisting the role gender and society assigns. Silence is My Mother Tongue is an extraordinary portrait of a woman of courage and intelligence and a compelling story of exile, survival, and love. Sulaiman S.M.Y. Addonia questions what it means to be a man, to be a woman, to be an individual when circumstance has forced the loss of all that makes a home and the possibility of a future. This is a book about love in a time of conflict, incisively dissecting society’s ability to wage war on its own women and exploring the stories we must tell and absorb to survive, cementing Addonia as a gifted literary talent whose stories reach across enforced borders towards the universal conflicts of the human heart.
Ellah Wakatama Allfrey said:
“Although very different in approach and location, these two novels exemplify our ambitions for the fiction list at The Indigo Press. In each case the author is concerned with the possibilities of the novel and has moulded the form into a distinct work that interrogates universal themes. Pochoda explores California’s underclass – the different voices and locations (from the desert to the sea) exploring the inequalities of contemporary American society and the desire each of her characters has to change their lives – even if that means running away. Addonia’s concerns are no less urgent as he writes of challenges faced by his young heroine as she finds her life dramatically altered. This is writing that looks inward at a particular community with characters whose stories illuminate the world.”
Indigo Press Publishing Director Ellah Wakatama Allfrey on BBC Radio 3 and 4 this week
Friday 13th April 2018
Our Publishing Director Ellah Wakatama Allfrey was on BBC Radio 3's Free Thinking and BBC Radio 4's Open Book this week, talking about the process of abridging Chinua Achebe's magnum opus Things Fall Apart for The Southbank Centre's Special 60th Anniversary Reading event, taking place thisSunday at 14.00.
Free Thinking was on Radio 3, Wednesday 11th April at 22.00. Catch up here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09yh5lm
Open Book was on Radio 4, Thursday 12th April at 14.00. Catch up here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b09yckvm
Tickets are available for the 60th Anniversary Reading event of Things Fall Apart on the Southbank Centre website