Seasonal Stories- 15th December 5 – 6.30pm The Albion Beatnik Bookstore with Bette Adriaanse, Jeremy Hughes and James Benmore
Join the Artful Dodger, World War 2 pilots and Rus – an idiot savant trapped in a world of stifling bureaucracy (with hilarious results) for this jolly seasonal reading among friends, with mulled wine and a mince pie (if you’re lucky) on 15 December at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore.
Tickets £4 at the door.
Bette Adriaanse (born in Amsterdam in 1984) is a writer and a visual artist. She writes stories and makes wall-sized drawings, installations and video-work. Her literary work has appeared in magazines for literature, art and philosophy across Europe and she regularly exhibits her visual work.
Extract from Rus Like Everyone Else
Across the street from Rus there were giant photos attached to a building, pictures of men and women with shiny faces and wet bodies. Rus stopped below a large photo of a bare-chested man with a suitcase, looking in the distance, a woman lying at his feet. The man looked very relaxed, and he had his foot on the belly of the woman to make sure she could never go away.Rus could not take his eyes off the man for some reason, there was something about him that made Rus feel like he was connected to him. Under the picture it read ‘What’s it gonna be?’ and it was as if this question was aimed directly at him.‘What’s it gonna be?’ Rus whispered. ‘What ís it gonna be?’
Jeremy Hughes was born in Crickhowell, south Wales. He was awarded first prize in the Poetry Wales competition and his poetry was short-listed for an Eric Gregory Award. He has published two pamphlets – breathing for all my birds (2000) and The Woman Opposite (2004) – and two novels: Dovetail (2011) and Wingspan (2013). He studied for the Master’s in creative writing at the University of Oxford.
Extract from Wingspan
Death is afraid of me.
I have known this since my first flight. I had watched a pair of flyers at Bower’s Field and it looked easy. The pilots waved and smiled and whooped and skirled around the sky. I could do that without an aeroplane, all on my lonesome.
I was swimming at Tullock’s Steps with Marty Greenberg when I looked up at the bridge and said I could fly.
“No way Ho-zay,” he said.
“It’s easy. Those guys at Bower’s were having a blast.”
“But you’ve never been in one of those things.”
“I don’t need one. I can fly.”
“Like to see that,” he nodded.
James Benmore is the author of Dodger and its upcoming sequel Dodger of the Dials – both published by Heron Books. These novels continue the story of the Artful Dodger from Oliver Twist and earlier this year Dodger was long listed for the Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize. His short fiction had appeared in various anthologies including All These Little Worlds published by the Fiction Desk.
He has an MSt in Creative Writing from Kellogg College, Oxford and is currently writer in residence at Gad’s Hill School, Rochester – former home of Charles Dickens.
Extract from Dodger
Chapter 1. The Silver Sneeze Box.
Wherein the reader learns of how my carefree childhood was cruelly snatched away by a cold-hearted magistrate with no regard for my youthful promise.
We was a gang of six and we was swooping through the London crowds like low-flying jackdaws, fast, thieving and beautiful to behold.It was the first day of May and the people of the city was all dressed in their Sunday finery, not least of all us, the happy students of the Saffron Hill School of Finders Keepers. We was scudding through the dusty lanes towards Covent Garden where we hoped to find the choicest trinkets that London could offer and we was all very much feeling that spring buzz. I was leading the thing, as was natural, and close behind me was my best pal Charley Bates. After him was Jem White, Georgie Bluchers and Mouse Flynn and that, I now reflect, should have been all. Five has always been more than enough to work a spring crowd, in truth the ideal number of boys to go finding with was three. One to distract, the other to dip and pass, and the last to make the dash. But what with the day being so merry and fresh we was all feeling companionable and so was stuck together like toffees in sun. All of these boys was gifted in the art and had it just been us then it would have remained a very pleasant and productive morning. But we also had Horrie Belltower dragging along behind us and this stupid oaf proved to be my undoing.