We have always lived in the factory. We were born here, amongst the engines and the lathes, the conveyor belts which stretch for miles. Not one of us has been outside. Few of us have even been so far as the wall which rises like an end to things, grey and hard and irrefutable, beyond the last of the warehouses.
I've commissioned ten of my favourite authors to each write a short story which takes its title and inspiration from one of the tracks on Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures, making a kind of accompanying fiction playlist which collectively reflects on and responds to the record’s themes, imagery, history and *vibes*.
This is the first book I’ve edited. For various reasons, not least its captain’s inexperience, We Were Strangers has navigated a long and at times choppy journey from idle notion to bookshop shelf, but that protracted period of gestation has, in my humble opinion, resulted in a collection of rare quality, definitely one of which I couldn’t possibly be more proud and certainly one you should seek out.
For one thing, I struck gold with Confingo, an independent publisher based right here in Manchester who share my belief in books being a good read as well as – just look at the thing – objects bel.
Secondly, here is what the table of contents looks like:
- Disorder – Nicholas Royle
- Day of the Lords – Jenn Ashworth
- Candidate – Jessie Greengrass
- Insight – David Gaffney
- New Dawn Fades – Sophie Mackintosh
- She’s Lost Control – Zoe Lambert
- Shadowplay – Toby Litt
- Wilderness – Eley Williams
- Interzone – Louise Marr
- I Remember Nothing – Anne Billson
Sounds good, right? Well, it'll be published on 6 September, BUT luckily for you, it’s now available for you to pre-order direct from the publisher’s site here.
Or, once it's published, you can get it via Amazon here.
Or you can get in touch with your local bookshop. For all you ISBN fans: the ISBN is 9780995596610.
Finally, I’ll be hosting the book launch at Waterstones Deansgate on Friday 14 September, with readings from David Gaffney, Zoe Lambert, Sophie Mackintosh and Nicholas Royle, tickets for which are available here.