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Wrecking Ball In Store

Wrecking Ball Music and BooksWrecking Ball Music and Books opened its doors at the end of September in the East Arcade of Hull’s Princes’ Quay.

The new shop sells the entire Wrecking Ball Press catalogue, as well as a range of books from independent publishers, new and used vinyl, merchandise, gifts and gig tickets.

The independent retail outlet is a joint venture between Wrecking Ball editor Shane Rhodes and Gary Marks.

Three weeks in and the shop is proving to be a success and has quickly established itself as a relaxed place to browse, chat and buy music and books.

Seven times snooker World Champion and green baize legend Stephen Hendry will be dropping by the shop on Wednesday October 25 when he will be signing copies of his autobiography Me and the Table at 12.30-1.30pm.

Face-to-face With Norwegian Literature

Shakar ZeshanWrecking Ball Press visited Norway in September 2018 to explore the country’s literary scene, which, in 2017, saw 538 Norwegian books translated into 44 different languages around the globe.

The successful trip to the country steeped in literary history going back to the pagan Eddaic poems and skaldic verse of the ninth and tenth centuries has resulted in Wrecking Ball securing the UK rights to publish Zeshan Shakar’s Our Street (represented by the Gyldendal Agency) and ongoing negotiations, now at an advanced stage, to publish Lotta Elstad’s I Refuse To Think (published in Norway by Flamme Forlag).

Wrecking Ball editor Shane Rhodes said: “In the modern day when a lot of business is done via email or over the phone I felt that it was important to go and meet Norwegian publishers face-to-face, to have conversations in person and to really get a flavour of the nation, its writers and the exciting work that is being created there. It was a successful trip given that we ended up securing the rights to Our Street and also look set to publish I Refuse To Think.

Shakar’s book is the Winner of the Tarjei Vesaas’ Debutant Prize 2018 and is set in Norway in the 2000s. Two boys grow up on the street Tante Ulrikkes street in Stovner, the north-east part of Oslo. Their parents had hope. They themselves are in the middle of the transition between suburb and wider society, between car wash and student canteen, exam grades and keef.

Heralded as one of the best books to come out of Norway in 2017, “Our Street isn’t important because it represents something or someone, but because it’s a really great novel.” (Morgenbladet)

Shakar is a profoundly literary and authentic voice, describing second generation immigrants’ position as both insider and outsider in Norwegian society.

Elstad’s I Refuse to Think is a dark, feministic contemporary comedy about politics, love – and an abyss that is getting dangerously closer. The book was nominated for The Oslo Prize in 2017 for Best Novel.

I Refuse to Think has been called “A Feministic Bulls-eye” and “…one of this year’s most enjoyable reads” by critics. Elstad, who is garnering attention around the world and destined to become the next Norwegian literary star, writes with sharp and smart humour and original style.

Indonesian Rights Secured

Mikael JohaniA literature visit by Wrecking Ball Press to Indonesia has resulted in securing the rights to publish Mikael Johani’s We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow and Nirwan Dewanto’s Museum of Pure Desire.

The trip was part of the Literature Visit programme supported by the British Council that aimed to build networks in literature ahead of the Indonesian market focus at London Book Fair in 2019.

Editor Shane Rhodes headed out to the Jakarta and Makassar International Writers Festival in May in order to identify publishing opportunities, find out more about Indonesian culture and literature and meet with writers and Indonesian publishers.

Both books will be published in 2019 in readiness for London Book Fair at Earl Court in March next year.

We Are Nowhere And It’s Wow is Johani’s first poetry collection and is divided into three sections, home, home part deux, away, and we are nowhere and it’s wow. because he likes being coy. home is away, away is home, part deux is part un, nowhere is somewhere etc. includes such orientalist pesudo-political poems as away with wiji thukul I-VIII as well as apathetic occidentalist ones like esthétique du mall.

Museum of Pure Desire contains choice examples of contemporary Indonesian poetry whose richness derives from their destruction of the constraints that surround poetry. Dewanto’s poems challenge the reader to stop and reconsider what first comes to mind upon their reading and to consider an entirely different interpretation altogether; they pull the reader into a state of tension between extreme juxtaposition and hidden logic, between childlike playfulness and calculated detachment.

Other publishers in attendance at the Literature Visit were MacLehose Press, Portobello Books, Tilted Axis Press, Oneworld Publications and Harvill Secker.

30 Indonesian publishers and copyright agencies are expected to head to London Book Fair in 2019.