New Year, New Titles from Comma Press

We’re about to blow 2015 out of the water with a crop of highly-anticipated releases. Here’s a sneak preview of the first five to hit the shelves this Spring….

The Drone Eats With Me: Diaries From A City Under Fire by Atef Abu Saif, with a foreword by Noam Chomsky

In July 2014, in response to the kidnapping and murder of three teenagers, Israel launched a wide-scale attack on the people of the Gaza Strip. The usual news machine rolled up, and the same tragic scenes and heightened political rhetoric was aired, yet practically nothing was being reported of the lives of ordinary, non-political Gazans, the real victims of the war.

One of the few voices to make it out was that of Atef Abu Saif, a writer and editor who’d toured the UK just weeks before with us to launch an anthology of stories depicting ordinary Gazan life (The Book of Gaza). Atef’s eye-witness diary pieces were published in a range of major outlets (including The Guardian, Slate, New York Times, etc) and became a unique porthole into the conflict for Western readers. Here, his complete diaries of the war, offer a unique perspective on one of the world’s most contested political crises. Noam Chomsky, globally-renowned media critic, writes the foreword.

The Book of Tokyo. A city in short fiction Edited by Michael Emmerich and Masashi Matsuie.

This anthology of ten stories set in Tokyo will amuse, dazzle, confound and challenge you. For those unfamiliar with the city, this unique book will provide you with a literary map charting social and cultural shifts in the city within the last 50 years. Featuring a gentle but crisis-ridden father, a suspected murderer and his would-be victim, a monster who rides ferries and trains to find salvation in the city and a woman whose personal identity and memories merge with those of the city while she weeds her garden, plus many more beautifully-drawn urban characters.

Fans of Haruki Murakami and David Peace will love The Book of Tokyo.

Jebel Marra by Michelle Green

In 2005, the poet Michelle Green spent six months working for a humanitarian aid agency in West Darfur.  Upon returning to the UK, she encountered in newspapers and television the familiar portraits of distant war:  the refugee with the empty bowl, the anonymous soldier, the heroic aid worker and so on, usually with little context or complication.  Inevitably, these incomplete images were soon gone from the front pages.

This collection of short stories explores some of the complexities of the ongoing war in Darfur, and draws upon some of Green’s own experiences as witness as well as her subsequent research. Though the stories are fictional, they are all rooted in a particular time and place, and informed by the day-to-day realities of life in a time of chaos and horror.

New Writers’ Showcase

The latest in Comma’s acclaimed series of new author showcases (Bracket, Parenthesis and Brace) will continue Comma’s commitment to championing the work of new writers. Once again, this anthology will be the first to publish literary ‘names’ of the future, and will have the courage to support edgy, daring work that other publishers normally wouldn’t.

The Well of Trapped Words by Sema Kaygusuz. Translated by Maureen Freely.

A sixty year-old man marries a teenage bride, then mysteriously begins to starve himself to death.A disenfranchised Kurdish girl finally fulfulls her dream to dine out at the mall – where all is not as it seems. A local strongman is robbed and beaten by a gang. In hospital, he strives to prevent his secret insecurity being exposed; that inside his huge shoes he has tiny feet.

Sema Kaygusuz is one of Turkey’s leading writers. Discover her incredible talent in this, her first appearance in English. Winner of an English PEN translation grant.