MRS DEATH MISSES DEATH |by SALENA GODDEN |OUT 28 JANUARY

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“A fantastically imaginative story about life, death and everything in between – a potent reminder that life is short and every second should be cherished”
IDRIS ELBA

Mrs Death has had enough. She is exhausted from spending eternity doing her job and now she seeks someone to unburden her conscience to. Wolf Willeford, a troubled young writer, is well acquainted with death, but until now hadn’t met Death in person – a black, working-class woman who shape-shifts and does her work unseen.

Enthralled by her stories, Wolf becomes Mrs Death’s scribe, and begins to write her memoirs. Using their desk as a vessel and conduit, Wolf travels across time and place with Mrs Death to witness deaths of past and present and discuss what the future holds for humanity. As the two reflect on the losses they have experienced – or, in the case of Mrs Death, facilitated – their friendship grows into a surprising affirmation of hope, resilience and love. All the while, despite her world-weariness, Death must continue to hold humans’ fates in her hands, appearing in our lives when we least expect her.

OUT JANUARY 28 – AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER NOW

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“Salena Godden’s pin-sharp ability to mine the intricacies of human nature fuels her long-awaited debut novel, a life-affirming and unflinching treatise on death and its stark realities. Always playful, infused with her trademark humour and commitment to truth, Godden reinvents the form while staying true to an emotional honesty that’s as forthright as it is courageous. Mrs Death’s finale is some of the most powerful writing I’ve read in years. Here is necessary, beautiful work. Thank God for Godden”
COURTTIA NEWLAND

Salena Godden is one of the UK’s most iconic poets and performers. An activist, broadcaster, memoirist and essayist, Salena is widely anthologised. She has published several volumes of poetry, including Pessimism is for Lightweights (now a public art piece donated to The Peoples History Museum) and a literary childhood memoir, Springfield Road.

Mrs Death Misses Death is her debut novel. A BBC Radio 4 documentary following Godden’s progress on the novel over twelve months was broadcast in 2018.

For more information visit salenagodden.co.uk

A RIVER CALLED TIME | by COURTTIA NEWLAND | OUT 7 JANUARY.

A monumental speculative fiction story of love, loyalty, politics and conscience set in parallel Londons

“Courttia Newland’s alternative, decolonised vision of London is a staggering feat of imagination. There’s so much to love here: an everyman hero who discovers he has abilities that are anything but ordinary, parallel cities across a multiverse, African cosmology belief systems, a keep-them-guessing ending . . . An amazing achievement”
NOEL CLARKE

Set in an alternate world where slavery and colonialism never happened, Newland’s staggering novel is both a timely exploration of social inequality and a story about love, loyalty and the search for the truth.

The Ark was built to save the lives of the many, but rapidly became a refuge for the elite, the entrance closed without warning.

Years after the Ark was cut off from the world, a chance of survival within its confines is granted to a select few who can prove their worth. Among their number is Markriss Denny, whose path to future excellence is marred only by a closely guarded secret: without warning, his spirit leaves his body, allowing him to see and experience a world far beyond his physical limitations.

Once inside the Ark, Denny learns of another with the same power, whose existence could spell catastrophe for humanity. He is forced into a desperate race to understand his abilities, and in doing so uncovers the truth about the Ark, himself and the people he thought he once knew.

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OUT 7 JANUARY 2021 – PRE-ORDER NOW

“Gloriously enthralling. An immersive, ambitious reimagining of the city from a formidable British voice. Newland’s magnum opus”
IRENOSEN OKOJIE

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“A masterful reimagining of the African diaspora’s influence on England and on the world. It’s a grand tale and still an intimate portrait of loss and love. What glory and influence would Africa enjoy if colonialism had never occurred? Courttia Newland reshapes our vision of the past, present and future by taking this one question seriously. The result is something truly special. No other way to put it, this book is true Black magic”
VICTOR LAVALLE

Courttia Newland is the author of seven books including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013. He co-edited The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain, and his short stories have featured in various anthologies and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. He was shortlisted for the 2007 CWA Dagger in the Library Award and the 2010 Alfred Fagon Award. In 2016 he was also awarded the Tayner Barbers Award for science fiction writing and the Roland Rees Busary for playwriting. As a screenwriter, he has co-written episodes of Steve McQueen’s 2020 BBC series Small Axe (See more here).

LOVERS ROCK

“LOVERS ROCK” & “RED, WHITE AND BLUE” co-written by Steve McQueen and Courttia Newland for Steve McQueen’s five-part anthology series – Small Axe.

Small Axe is a series of 5 films by award-winning director Steve McQueen, which celebrate West Indians In Britain. The five-part anthology series takes its title from a West Indian proverb about collective struggle (“If you are the big tree, we are the small axe”) and encompasses true stories from the late 60s to mid 80s. The films each tell a story involving London’s West Indian community, a celebration of Black joy, beauty, friendship, love, music and food, despite subjection to rampant racism and discrimination.

It is no surprise that our own Courttia Newland is a part of this iconic moment for Black British film and TV, having co-written the screenplay to two of the five films in the anthology series – LOVERS ROCK and RED, WHITE AND BLUE.

LOVERS ROCK tells a fictional story of young love at a Blues party in 1980. The film is an ode to the romantic reggae genre, Lovers Rock, and to the Black youth who found freedom and love in its sound in London house parties when they were unwelcome in white nightclubs. A vital exploration of cultural identity.

RED, WHITE AND BLUE tells the true story of Leroy Logan (John Boyega), a young forensic scientist with a yearning to do more than his solitary laboratory work. When he sees his father assaulted by two policemen, he finds himself driven to revisiting a childhood ambition to become a police officer – an ambition borne from the naïve hope of wanting to change racist attitudes from within. Small Axe provides long-overdue representation for viewers of Caribbean descent, opening up a space on television for the celebration of British-Caribbean Culture. These luminous stories are powerful recreations of the history of Black Britain. A landmark moment for British film and television.

Watch the Small Axe series here

Courttia Newland’s forthcoming book A River Called Time is out 7th January 2021.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION

Pre-order your copy here.

PURE by Rose Cartwright | Now Available as Audiobook via Audible.

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Rose Cartwright has OCD, but not as you know it. Pure is the true story of her 10-year struggle with ‘Pure O’, a little-known form of the condition, which causes her to experience intrusive sexual thoughts of shocking intensity. It is a brave and frequently hilarious account of a woman who refused to give up, despite being undermined at every turn by her obsessions and enduring years of misdiagnosis and failed therapies.

Eventually, the love of family and friends, and Rose’s own courage and sense of humour prevailed, inspiring this deeply felt and beautifully written memoir. At its core is a lesson for all of us: when it comes to being happy with who we are, there are no neat conclusions.

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OWN IT! signs writer, poet, essayist & former Young Poet Laureate for London: Selina Nwulu.

OWN IT! welcomes the latest creative to join our eclectic collective of authors and artists.

Selina Nwulu has written for a number of outlets such as the Guardian, New Humanist and Red Pepper and has toured her poetry extensively, both internationally, including a literary tour in Northern India, and throughout the UK with a number of cultural institutions such as MAC Birmingham, BBC Radio 4 and Southbank Centre. She has also been featured in Vogue, ES Magazine, i-D and Blavity amongst others.

Selina works both as a creative and as a consultant in the social and climate justice sector, having been a voice for climate justice for over 10 years.

From 2017- 2018, she was ‘Writer and Creator in Residence’ at the Wellcome Trust, looking creatively at food and how it connects to our health and matters of social and environmental justice. In 2019 she worked with Somerset House on a project around loneliness and climate change for their Earth Day Season, a project she is looking to expand. Later that year her work was also exhibited as part of Get Up Stand Up Now, an exhibition, also at Somerset House, celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond.

She was Young Poet Laureate for London 2015-16, and her debut collection, The Secrets I Let Slip, published by Burning Eye Books in 2015, is a Poetry Book Society recommendation. In 2019, Selina was shortlisted for the Brunel International African Poetry Prize and she has been published in a number of anthologies, including the critically acclaimed New Daughters of Africa.

She has just finished her first full length collection of poems.

Selina commented:

“I’m excited to join the OWN IT! team and be a part of an amazing collective of artists looking to push the limits of their creative work. I’m looking forward to building on my achievements and expanding my craft into new areas and forms of writing.”

Check out more on Selina, at her website www.selinanwulu.com