And Other Stories are a not-for-private-profit independent publisher who have recently (or are currently) moving to Sheffield. Their ethos is to:
publish writing that is mind-blowing, often ‘challenging’ (Maureen Freely) and ‘shamelessly literary’ (Stuart Evers)
You can find out more about And Other Stories on their website at http://www.andotherstories.org/
And Other Stories are at least partly reliant on subscriptions to allow them to keep doing their thing, and, in August 2016, I subscribed on a one-off basis (they offer annual subscriptions as well) for 4 books (you can also sign up for 2 or 6 books), all of which have now arrived (ahead of the official publication date!)
I have to say that I’m really impressed with the books I’ve received, and, if I’m honest, they are books that I may not have come across otherwise. Here are the books I received:
The Proof by César Aira – published 4 April 2017
Marcia is sixteen, overweight and unhappy. One day, as she’s walking down a Buenos Aires street, she hears a shout: ‘Wannafuck?’ Startled, she turns round and is confronted by two punk girls Lenin and Mao. Soon, she’s beguiled by them and the possibilities they open up. But the two have little time for a philosophical discussion of love: they need proof, and with their own savage logic the duo, calling themselves the Commando of Love, hold up a supermarket as the novel climaxes in an unforgettable splatter-fest finale.
I am the Brother of XX by Fleur Jaeggy – published 6 July 2017
A wife is suspended in a bird cage; a thirteenth-century visionary senses the foreskin of Christ on her tongue: Fleur Jaeggy’s gothic imagination knows no limits. Whether telling of mystics, tormented families or famously private writers, Jaeggy’s terse, telegraphic writing is always psychologically clear-eyed and deeply moving, always one step ahead, or to the side, of her readers’ expectations.
In this, her long-awaited return, we read of an ‘eerie maleficent calm, a brutal calm’, and recognise the timbre of a writer for whom a paradoxical world seethes with quiet violence.
The Gurugu Pledge by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel – published 24 August 2017
By Night the Mountain Burns. On Mount Gurugu, overlooking the Spanish enclave of Melilla on the North African coast, desperate migrants gather before attempting to scale the city’s walls and gain asylum on European soil. Inspired by first-hand accounts, Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel has written an urgent novel, by turns funny and sad, bringing a distinctly African perspective to a major issue of our time.
Worlds from the Word’s End by Joanna Walsh – published 7 September 2017
The much-anticipated fiction follow-up to Vertigo, this collection cements Joanna Walsh’s reputation as one of the sharpest writers of this century. Wearing her learning lightly, Walsh’s stories make us see the world afresh while showing us she has read the world. In ‘Like a Fish Needs a …’ – perhaps the funniest, most freewheeling story ever written about cycling (and Freud and and and …) you read shenanigans worthy of Flann O’Brien. Meanwhile, in Worlds from the Word’s End, Walsh conjures up a country in which words themselves fall out of fashion – something that will never happen wherever Walsh is read.
All of the books arrived two to three months ahead of their publication date, and all have the subscribers’ names in the back of the book, which I think is a lovely way of thanking their supporters. I think that what is most pleasing about these novels is that they are all very different and utterly unique, and I’m looking forward to reading them.
You can find out more about the various subscription packages here: http://www.andotherstories.org/subscribe/