Thursday, 2 March 2017

Happy World Book Day from the Emma Press!

In celebration of World Book Day, here are a few words (and some wonderfully bad selfies) from the Emma Press with some of our favourite books.

Emma Wright, publisher - The Folded Clock, by Heidi Julavits

"I was given this as a birthday present and I was hooked after the first couple of pages. It starts with the author explaining how she discovered her childhood diaries and was disappointed by how dull they were; she then goes on to keep a diary of sorts in her current life as a fortysomething woman. As someone who gave up writing her own childhood diary due to a horrible suspicion that her adult self would find it both tedious and shaming, I was on board with this premise from the start and I have found every entry so far extremely funny and relatable." 

Elīna Brasliņa, illustrator - Invisible Cities (Les villes invisibles) by Italo Calvino

"I bought a French edition of "Invisible cities" during an Erasmus semester in Nancy and would often take it to the Pépinière Park, delighting, arguably in equal measure, in Italo Calvino's poetic prose and the fact of reading it to the accompaniment of crying peacocks. I believe it was my favourite book for some time afterward. Now, almost eight years later, I'm working on illustrations for the Latvian edition and am both exhilarated and awestruck."

 James Trevelyan, poet - Transition by Luke Kennard

"I've just finished reading Luke Kennard's incredible novel The Transition and can't stop telling people about it. I think it should be compulsory reading for any renter-generation Millennial like me. Painfully close to the bone at times, it builds a Black Mirror-esque dystopia where young couples are forced to live with older, more successful couples to receive mentoring and advice on their way to home-ownership, fruitful start-ups and a better life. It's darkly funny and generally terrifying throughout, you can't help wondering when the government will actually set this scheme up... and then if you might be desperate enough to enroll." 

Deborah Alma, poet - Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson

"Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping is her first novel published in 1981 and I remember reading it back then and thinking, yes, this is the real thing. A work of beauty and grace and flawless. Wise, eccentric, poetic. I love it!"

Rachel Piercey, editor - How To Be a Heroine by Samantha Ellis

"I have just finished Samantha Ellis's wonderful How to be a Heroine, where she revisits her favourite childhood and teenage books to ponder how they have shaped her life and what she makes of them now, as an adult. There are so many old friends here - Anne of Green Gables, Flora Poste, Elizabeth Bennet, the March sisters... I didn't want the book to end! Here I am with my hair in pigtails in homage to Anne-with-an-e Shirley, one of the great literary heroines of my life."

Emma Simon, poet - Nights at the Circus by Angela Carter

"I love Angela Carter, her myth-making and wild language and Nights At The Circus is one of my favourites. It tells the story of Fevvers, a winged trapeze artist in19th century London. No-one is quite sure if she is a fake or not. It's an extravagant book, full of stories and surprises. I think I'd like any book set in circus -- the fictional ones are always far superior to the real thing." 

Andrew Wynn Owen, poet -Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues by Iris Murdoch

"My chosen book for World Book Day is Iris Murdoch's Acastos: Two Platonic Dialogues. It's full of interesting thoughts about art and life. An extract:

Of course we are philosophers and Plato is a poet so we must make allowances --


I'm very sorry, but really, you're all so unserious about art, as if it were a sort of side issue. As if one could say there's the navy and the silvermines and the war and the latest news about Alcibiades and this and that and then of course there's art and -- But art is -- in a way it's almost everything -- you don't see how deep art is, and how awful it is!

I think your poems are rather nice.'" 

Yen-Yen Lu, publicist - Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

"I have chosen Les Misérables, sometimes nicknamed The Brick because the dimensions and weight of the entire book (I am holding an abridged edition) are about the same as...a brick. I read this partly for bragging rights but also because I love stories that are timeless and truthful in the way Les Misérables is. As Victor Hugo writes in the preface: ‘As long as ignorance and misery endure on earth, books such as this cannot but be useful.’"

Have a wonderful World Book Day!

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