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We are all alike in this strangeness: Celebrating New Fiction


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We are all alike in this strangeness”- Vanessa Onwuemezi’s Dark Neighbourhood

Hi! This is Noor, calling all lovers of unsettling, mythic, marvellous fiction, to join us for a double debut launch on Wednesday in the bookshop (and online top of course ) I’ll be exploring The Giant Dark and Dark Neighbourhood with writers Sarvat Hasin & Vanessa Onwuemezi!

Why these two writers together? This pairing is about so much more than both brilliant books being debuts, or that both authors are hugely talented women of colour. Sarvat and Vanessa are pushing all sorts of boundaries with their writing. Daring, playful, and witty, they spin tales of love, loss, alienation and desire with unique new voices. As Clare Bogen of Fitzcarraldo Editions put it, 'whilst formally very different, both writers are intimately concerned with retellings of mythologies and the stories of the people on the outside.'

Dark Neighbourhood has been described as a ‘beautiful, vertiginous and enriching first collection’ exploring the challenges of knowing ourselves and others. At the border with another world, a line of people wait for the gates to open; on the floor of a lonely room, a Born Winner runs through his life's achievements and losses; in a suburban garden, a man witnesses a murder that pushes him out into the community. Struggling to realize the human ideals of love and freedom, the characters of Dark Neighbourhood roam instead the depths of alienation, loss and shame.

The Giant Dark has been celebrated as a blindingly brilliant ‘magical story of lovers and muses, jealousy and secrets, and music’ in devastating prose. Inspired by the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, it explores the consuming and devastating effects of using a lover as a muse. As Irenosen Okojie put it: 'A brilliant, intoxicating reimagining. A heady brew of art, love and its cataclysmic impact'.

These are astonishing works of fiction and we can't WAIT to unpack them with friends!

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