Well-known for its football team and its well-spring of musical talent, Manchester is little recognised for its its hotbed of authors. This anthology is a major gathering of fiction from the city, featuring original stories from such writers as Tim Willocks, Jackie Kay and DJ Dave Haslam.
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"Of course in Manchester it rains all the time and the people here have a split personality to accommodate it," writes Jackie Kay. "The bleak, rainy personality and the surprised, sunny one ..."Manchester's infamous grey climate sets a melancholy atmosphere throughout these 25 stories, a dark side previously documented by Joy Division and The Smiths. In fact, few British city's have had so many words written about them. Yet until recently, little fiction had been set in the city. Manchester Stories attempts to redress the balance.
Despite the writers' diverse backgrounds, common themes emerge, one being childhood memories. Andrea Ashworth's "Morietti's Super-Swirl" creates wonderfully nostalgic imagery of ice-cream vans, nit nurses and Jehovah's Witnesses. Michael Bracewell's childhood portrait of "Blackley, Crumpsall, Harpurhey" is curiously "re-mixed" by Jeff Noon. Meanwhile, P-P Hartnett, Karline Smith and Cath Staincliffe document contemporary childhood--a boy discovering his sexuality in the gay village; a black girl obsessed by Manchester United; a vicious girl-gang mugging students.
Another re-occurring theme is loners--from a lonely office girl to an ex-serviceman's desolate routine. Tim Willocks explores the city with Billy Micklehurst, a homeless wanderer, describing it as "a city of outcasts stacked tall with broken majesty." The downbeat feel is compounded by the depressing account of elderly siblings on a run-down estate by Shelagh Delaney, author of "Taste Of Honey".
Yet Mancunians have a knack of combing misery with humour-- read Nicholas Blincoe and David Bowker's contributions. Perhaps a Manchester literary style is emerging--one that fuses rainy city melancholia; twisted humour; post-Pulp- Fiction violence and the linguistic influence of generations of immigrants. Editor Ra Page describes it, "buried Irish lilt, mixed with Lancashire obstinacy, with more than a pinch of Afro-Caribbean swagger, Jewish argot and Asian colour ..." --Sarah Champion
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. A slight tan to the page edges. Good reading copy. Good condition is defined as: a copy that has been read but remains in clean condition. All of the pages are intact and the cover is intact and the spine may show signs of wear. The book may have minor markings which are not specifically mentioned. Most items will be dispatched the same or the next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0004257921
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 25/11/1999, 1999. Book Condition: Good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140284133
Book Description . Paperback. Book Condition: Good. The book has been read but remains in clean condition. All pages are intact and the cover is intact. Some minor wear to the spine. Bookseller Inventory # GOR003768815
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 25/11/1999, 1999. Book Condition: Very Good. This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780140284133
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd 25/11/1999, 1999. Book Condition: Good. This book is in good or better condition. It has no tears to the pages and no pages will be missing from the book. The spine of the book is still in great condition and the front cover is generally unmarked. It has signs of previous use but overall is in really nice, tight condition. Shipping is normally same day from our UK warehouse. We offer a money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780140284133