The Mookse and the Gripes discussion

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Favorite Presses > Galley Beggar press

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message 1: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Galley Beggar has to have a space here:

https://www.galleybeggar.co.uk/

I have recently subscribed as a "Galley Buddy" (much though the name pains me)


message 2: by Ang (new)

Ang | 1685 comments I was a Galley Buddy a few years ago (I'm sure we weren't called that at the time). I thought about joining again, but I would prefer to make a selection rather than receive the next two or the next five.


message 3: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments Galley Beggar are of course famed for

- publishing Girl is a Half Formed Thing

- being based in Norfolk (centre of the publishing world and culture generally e.g. also Salt)

- inventing the much loved phrase "hardcore literary fiction and gorgeous prose"

The personally author dedicated copies sent to Galley Buddies (probably better than being called a Galley Beggar) are quite impressive (and your name in the back).

And while subscriptions are key to supporting presses like this, one does inevitably end up with books one otherwise would not wished to have read. Sometimes its best to regard those books as a donation rather than force oneself to read them!


message 4: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments That’s how I look at it, Paul, as a donation. We get a discount on the books we choose so that’s still an advantage to us.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments To quote Paul from the RoC thread it’s being a supporter rather than a consumer.


message 6: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments I agree. I almost feel guilty using the discount offered. I know most of staff on the small endeavors don't take much of a salary, if any at all


message 7: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Thanks very much for that Elly - your efforts are appreciated!


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments Now winner of the Desmond Elliott Prize for a debut novel, for the second time in five years which is a remarkable testimony to Galley Beggar Press - both books were rejected by pretty well every mainstream publisher over a long period before being picked up by Galley Beggar.

2014 - A Girl Is a Half-formed Thing
2018 - We That Are Young


message 9: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments It seems that Lucia is getting a lot of very positive buzz too. (I’m thinking my copy will arrive in the next week.)


message 10: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
My copy of Lucia arrived on Thursday, and it looks like a work of art (I also used my librarian status to add the page count and ISBN to the black cover edition). I will probably read it before Wrestliana, maybe even later this week.


message 11: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1829 comments I am starting Lucia today. It looks fascinating.


message 12: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments I’m only 53 pgs into Lucia and I’m loving it! It is a lovely book which makes it even more special.

I’m not familiar with James Joyce other than as the author of Ulysses, The Dubliners, and Portrait of the Artist...none of which I have read, so I have to ask if Pheby uses the Egyptian chapters for a reason specific to James Joyce? It’s a brilliant metaphor either way, but I knew someone here could enlighten me as to its connection to James Joyce.


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments The TLS review starts with a link via Samuel Beckett although it seems a bit of a stretch:

"Samuel Beckett’s first publication was an essay in Our Exagmination round the Factification of the Incamination of Work in Progress (1929), a collection written to promote interest in the forthcoming publication of Finnegans Wake. “Here,” he wrote, “is the savage economy of hieroglyphics. Here words are not polite contortions of twentieth-century printers’s ink. They are alive.”"


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments Interesting question Wendy - I had assumed it was a clever metaphor with no particular Joyce link.

From my review "the link to the Joyce family treatment of Lucia is clear and in fact as the novel progresses elements of this tale explicitly starts to mirror those set out in the novel"

Perhaps though Elly can let us know her thoughts


message 15: by Hugh (last edited Jul 24, 2018 04:14AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
WndyJW wrote: "I’m not familiar with James Joyce other than as the author of Ulysses, The Dubliners, and Portrait of the Artist...none of which I have read, so I have to ask if Pheby uses the Egyptian chapters for a reason specific to James Joyce? It’s a brilliant metaphor either way, but I knew someone here could enlighten me as to its connection to James Joyce."

An interesting question. I am not aware of any connection between Joyce and Egyptology, and as Gumble says the stories converge as the book progresses. Joyce was such a polymath that he is bound to have written something that involves Egypt (the only Joyce books I have read are Ulysses and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man).


message 16: by Tommi (new)

Tommi | 486 comments It’s not a prominent theme in Finnegans Wake either, but there are dozens of references to The Book of the Dead throughout the novel:

http://www.fweet.org/cgi-bin/fw_grep....

I never noticed that during my two readings of FW, but that’s not surprising considering how bewildering the whole thing is...


message 17: by Marc (new)

Marc (monkeelino) | 228 comments Two readings of FW?!! That is impressive. I'm still working up to attempting a first reading.


message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Hey! Just caught this... (I've been trying not to read this thread so you aren't put off from commenting candidly! - but as you ask...).

Anyway: The Egyptian sections - and though the hope is they work by themselves, without this extra meta-fictive layer - riff on Finnegan's Wake. The Egyptian Book of the Dead - as well as processes of mummification and resurrection and the Egyptian underworld in general - were a huge influence on Joyce and FW. So Alex's use of Egypt and 'tomb-raiding' in LUCIA ties in with that - all the more so because Lucia Joyce is really the other key inspiration in FW ("Nuvoluccia in her nightdress" etc).

One of the great joys of LUCIA for me - and Alex's writing in general - is that I don't think they're one-read books. I can read them again and again and there's something - in the language, or a new twist or angle - that reveals itself. It's not just that the books are allusive, either; they generally subvert and make mischief with those allusions... (as well as thwart and challenge reader expectations, all those things). It's truly invigorating.

(BTW: I'm not some massive pulsating brain! I knew none of this - have merely been lucky enough to talk to Alex about these things as he writes, and have also spent a good part of the past two years reading Joyce et al., because of LUCIA...)

Anyway! I could go on about Alex and his writing all day (we've just signed him for his next two books, so you can imagine how excited I am about that), but I'll leave you in peace with this link:

https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=Q...


message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh - overlapped with Tommi!


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

(Two readings is VERY impressive. Lord.)


message 21: by Tommi (new)

Tommi | 486 comments I can’t claim to understand much of it, but I’ve thoroughly enjoyed going through it, often listening to it, twice, and I’ve begun the third round too but I’m currently having a much-needed break from Joyce (it’s been a hobby of mine for years).

Final thing before going too much off-topic, I’ll throw a link to fine audio versions of FW set to music, which I can recommend: http://www.waywordsandmeansigns.com

I’m so looking forward to reading Pheby’s book later in the year!


message 22: by Hugh (last edited Jul 24, 2018 05:04AM) (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Thanks Elly - I knew I was missing a lot of the subtext. I am very sorry this one missed out on the Booker longlist.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments Thanks Elly. We are all still disappointed this did not make the Booker, but holding out hope for the Goldsmith


message 24: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Gumble's Yard wrote: "Thanks Elly. We are all still disappointed this did not make the Booker, but holding out hope for the Goldsmith" If only it was eligible...


message 25: by Tommi (new)

Tommi | 486 comments Eloise wrote: "Oh - overlapped with Tommi!"

Whoops! Well, you explained it much better, thank you for that (and the link)!


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments Thanks Hugh, of course you are right. Shame.


message 27: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 24, 2018 05:27AM) (new)

Thanks all!

Man Booker:
Alex was actually over here yesterday so we got to take a look at the leak together... I'm not entirely convinced that LUCIA has that *Booker flavour* to it, if there is such a thing - but I really do think it's the most extraordinary piece of writing (... indeed, just one of the best things I've ever read - genuinely). So inevitably, there were twinges of disappointment. The rather wonderful thing about Alex though is that he really just wants to write, and as long as he's doing that, he's happy - so (and a twinge or two himself, I'm sure), he was admirably sanguine. (Alas, you are right Hugh: LUCIA is not eligible for the Goldsmiths.)

LUCIA, FW, Book of the Dead:
In case you're interested in how the book was written, the Egyptian thread came in quite late. Alex was a couple of drafts on and we'd puzzling over whether the book came together as a whole, whether it needed to be more linear, or whether there needed to be some sort of other thread... Anyway. Alex was very against linearity - he felt that to do that would impose on Lucia Joyce herself (i.e., dictate or pronounce some sort of biographical vision) - and then he appeared one evening with the genius idea of the tomb... It seemed perfect, because it offered a kind of balustrade whilst also allowing Alex to further interrogate himself (his motivations and his own ethical position, as writer).

Finally, thank you all for your kind words and also the terrific things you've had to say about LUCIA. I'm so glad it's moved quite a few of you, too - and the thoughtful, considered reviews mean a great deal to us all.


message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

P.S. Tommi - if you want more on Lucia Joyce and Finnegan's Wake, Finn Fordham is brilliant. (Unfortunately he also had trouble with the bullish Joyce Estate: his PhD thesis was blocked by them).


message 29: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Gumble's Yard wrote: "Thanks Hugh, of course you are right. Shame."
There's always the R of C...


message 30: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1843 comments Mod
Methinks that any book with any connection to Finnegans Wake should be required reading for members of The Mookse and the Gripes!


message 31: by WndyJW (last edited Jul 27, 2018 06:43PM) (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Thank you everyone. I thought there might be something about Joyce in this brilliant juxtaposition.

We just need to keep the buzz about Lucia going on Twitter, in other GR groups, and other types of social media. Hopefully, the Republic of Consciousness Prize reaches a wider audience as well.

I think discussions of books that did not make award lists are just as helpful in making readers aware of truly great books as being on a Longlist or Shortlist anyway.


message 32: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments Agreed let's try to keep the buzz going for this and indeed various other books that missed out on the Booker this year.

Although I wish discussions like this attracted as many readers as prize longlisting but I fear that is not the case. If I look at any of the Booker books, a rather high proportion of my GR friends have added it to their TBR, even books they otherwise wouldn't I suspect have considered reading. And those are a group of discerning readers who would be exposed to lots of other sources of recommendations. For the general reading public the Booker longlisted sticker of approval on the front is a near automatic ticket to increased sales.


message 33: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments You’re right, Paul. I guess that was wishful thinking on my part. In my early years of my return to reading I only read Shortlisted Bookers.


message 34: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments One way of drawing attention to books is to post reviews on Amazon (notwithstanding would be better if people purchase direct). But after Gumble and I posted our reviews of Lucia, and clicked the 'report abuse' button for one review that was a personal attack on the author, Amazon kindly not only deleted our reviews but deleted any Amazon review we had ever written (e.g. those for the Dostoevsky Wannabe books which can only be purchased via Amazon)!


message 35: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
I have just posted mine - it will be interesting to see how long it lasts. I may be able to get away with it because I have never posted an ARC/NetGalley review.


message 36: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments What?! They deleted all of your reviews for reporting an attack on an author!? I’m even happier that I deleted my Amazon Shopping app, unplugged our echo, and decided to never buy from Amazon again. I made the decision based on the low wages it pays employees and the awful working conditions of Amazon employees, but this outrageous behavior is further evidence we made the right decision.


message 37: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments Well they haven't confirmed that is why but GY and I both posted positive reviews of Lucia and pressed "report abuse" on the review that was a personal attack and suddenly all our reviews are deleted.


message 38: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
Well at least the one star review seems to have gone too. I have heard of other people who have had all of their Amazon reviews deleted (Nigeyb said something similar in the Reading the 20th Century group), and he thought that they were targeting ARC reviews, so it may have had anything to do with this book. I notice that Jackie Law's review, mine and one other five star review are still there.


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi everyone! I wanted to drop a quick line to say so sorry, Paul and Graham, to hear that story about Amazon (that's really dreadful luck, for both your a DW - though thank you so much for reporting our troll...). I hope that your reviews are saved/salvageable in some way - would be a terrible shame to think of them as lost; what you have to say is always so thoughtful and engaging. Really sorry, again.


message 40: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments Well they are on Goodreads and in my case the Mookse and Gripes blog as well. And that one star review was also removed.


message 41: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3005 comments Mod
I finally got round to reading my copy of Wrestliana and enjoyed it much more than I was expecting to. My review.

After my comments about the typos in We That Are Young and Tinderbox, I have to sat that I failed to spot any in this book or in Lucia. Incidentally my next moderator choice for 21st Century Literature will be We That Are Young, and I will definitely be thinking about doing the same for Lucia once it qualifies under the 12 month rule.


message 42: by Declan (new)

Declan | 185 comments My review of Alex Pheby's 'Lucia' is now online here:
http://www.drb.ie/essays/a-fire-in-th...


message 43: by Declan (new)

Declan | 185 comments My review of Alex Pheby's 'Lucia' is now online here:
http://www.drb.ie/essays/a-fire-in-th...


message 44: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8234 comments Excellent review


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments Lovely to see Anna Burns - author of easily the standout book on the Booker longlist (and the only one that would have a chance of winning a prize like the Goldsmith) saying that she is contemplating Lucia as her next book.


message 46: by Declan (new)

Declan | 185 comments Paul wrote: "Excellent review"

Thanks a lot, Paul. I'm very pleased that you liked it.


message 47: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments I was very excited to find Francis Plug: Writer in Residence in my mailbox today. I heard John Mitchel in tears of laughter trying to read passages from the book on the Backlisted podcast and was sad that my subscription had run out.

I received my 4 books, two had been published already so I would only have had my name listed in 2 books, due to a computer glitch my name wasn’t in the 3rd or 4th book either and I was okay with that, I was more excited to get the limited edition copies. Elly said they would extend my subscription for an extra book since my name was not listed, but I told her that wasn’t necessary, especially in light of overseas postage. Apparently she extended my subscription anyway.

It’s too bad more readers aren’t aware of the world of the indie presses. Not only do we get first edition books, we get thank you cards from the authors.

My birthday is end of the month so renewing my subscription will be my gift to myself!


message 48: by Antonomasia (new)

Antonomasia | 2632 comments Lucy Ellmann's 750pp one-sentence Ducks, Newburyport July was mentioned in this 2019 Guardian preview yesterday; did a search and found there is quite a bit of buzz about it already.
Extract.

I quite enjoyed two of her earlier books, and there's something nice about it when these lower-selling midlist writers get more recognition after ploughing their furrow for years, but I don't think I have the reading stamina for 750pp in that style. Maybe 250 at the right time.


message 49: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4339 comments Just out of curiosity I looked on abes to see if Galley Beggar books were available and what they were selling for; Lucia is selling for around $11, but the signed first editions are selling for $29 and $32.
Signed first edition We That Are Young is going for $45 and $55. Feeding Time signed, first edition is selling for over $50.

There are several very good reasons to support indie presses, the value of the first edition, limited edition, signed books is only one reason.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5087 comments And for anyone who needs additional encouragement to subscribe, this small press, which typically publishes 3-5 books a year has ended up with two of the top 5 new books read in 2018 as voted by this forum.


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