Published: Feb 5th, 2004
Abbie Fenton wants a child like nothing else on earth. But with her fortieth birthday looming on the horizon, her biological clock is at five-to-midnight. A market researcher for a men’s magazine, she stands in the wind-blasted precinct asking passers-by about their sexual habits and after-shave of choice. If this is life, it wasn’t how she imagined it.
From the Publisher
We are pleased to announce the publication of eleven more titles into the new typographic look. The specifications for the books are high -beautifully produced, they all have flaps and are sewn and printed in Italy. The latest batch represents some of the core titles of the backlist (Philip Larkin's Collected Poems, Ted Hughes's New Selected Poems, James Joyce's Poems and Shorter Writings) along with key, single volumes that should be part of any poetry lover's library (and whose reissue, in the form in which they were first published, will give a whole new generation the pleasure of coming to the books as original readers).
This selection offers a retrospective of the contemporary poetry of Simon Armitage, and is a perfect introduction to his work. It includes work chosen by the poet from six published volumes.
Thirty-something Barney is out of work and bored. Estranged from his wife and autistic son, Barney finds himself harking back to the glory days of his seventies childhood, and the bonds shared with his school friends Tony Football, Winkie, Pompus and Stubbs: 'your mates with their dozy nicknames' as his wife, Kim, calls them. Rummaging through his parents' attic, amongst the Subbuteo figures and Scalextric cars, Barney finds the very thing to bring them all back together again. The Little Green Man is a precious jade statuette, which the boys enacted dares to possess. Whoever had temporary ownership of the statue, controlled the game.
Armed with the Little Green Man and a valuation certificate for £750,000, Barney resurrects the childhood game of do-or-dare, but this time around the stakes are a little higher. As the dares become wilder, we learn the truth behind the boys' nicknames and discover exactly what kind of men they have grown into. The powerful totem of the Little Green Man causes secrets from the past to be uncovered, and the friends' childhood grudges steadily mutate into adult enmity and violence. But who is controlling the game now?
Mr Heracles. The original 'Heracles' is shocking and strange. It begins in defeat and despair, soars into triumph, waver's on a razor's edge of dramatic uncertainty, then plunges into carnage and horror of the darkest kind.
What is the greatest atrocity a man can commit? What do we mean by hero? Who can apportion blame to the workings of the human mind, and who has the power to forgive? These are questions thrown up by Euripedes' Heracles and tackled by Armitage in language that brings the play's contemporaneity sharply into focus, without diminishing its historical portent.
Mister Heracles was commissioned by the West Yorkshire Playhouse. This volume includes an introduction by the author including a discussion of the 'translation' process and commentary on the thinking behind the project.
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Published: 06 December 1999
Killing Time. In this 1000-line poem, the manic countdown to 1000 years of history reaches its climax, with the last 12 months spooling past like newsreel. It is a vision full of humorous and bleaker possibilities, which ranges forward and back through time and space, mixing and matching as it goes.